Month: February 2021

Sevellon Brown

Sevellon Brown was born in Washington, D.C. on November 23, 1886, and worked as a reporter for the Washington bureau of the United Press, the New York Star, and the New York Herald during the heyday of newspaper reporting. His newspaper career was interrupted, however, with America’s entry into the First World War in April

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Pasquale “Pat”/”Doc” J. Abbruzzi

Pat Abruzzi is considered one of the best athletes to come out of Rhode Island. Born in Warren on August 29, 1932, Pat was raised in Warren and attended local schools. He played football for Warren High School and was named All Class C football running back in 1948 and 1949. During his senior year

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Colonel Randall A. Harrington

Harrington, Randall A. (Randall Augustus), 1854-1918 Colonel Randall Augustus Harrington (1854-1918) was born in the mill village of Phenix, then a part of the town of Warwick in 1854, the son of Randall A. Harrington and Mary Madison Harrington. The Harringtons and Madisons were descended from early Rhode Island families. In Colonel Harrington’s long career

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John Carter Minkins

He was the first African American editor of a white newspaper. He was a renowned speaker and defender of human rights, attacking segregation and discrimination. John Carter Minkins came into this life on January 29, 1869 in Norfolk, Virginia. His mother died very young and he never met his white father. Raised by his grandmother, John was educated

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Dr. Anthony Corvese

Dr. Anthony Corvese, a veteran physician, was the first Italian-American to intern at Rhode Island Hospital. He was instrumental in organizing the first free children’s dental clinic in the state, he also established a gynecological and surgical clinic at The House of the Good Shepherd. He was also a medical pioneer in the use of

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Leona McElroy Kelly

Former Rhode Island Representative from South Kingstown. Leona A. Kelley was born in Providence on August 15, 1919. She attended Classical High School and the University of Rhode Island graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1941. Her political career began in the 1950s as a social worker. After taking time off to raise

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Timothy “Tim” O’Neil

The genial and dedicated man who was to be crowned “The King of the Sandlots” was born in South Providence on December 14, 1878 along with his twin brother Edward. Their parents were Edward and Ann (Lynch). Tim was an enterprising paperboy in his youth, but received little formal  schooling. Fortunately he was a proficient baseball player and

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Frank F. Frisch

Frank Frisch was born to German parents in Bronx, New York on September 9, 1898. He was a collegiate sports superstar, playing for Fordham University’s baseball, basketball, football and track teams. Nicknamed the “Fordham Flash,” Frisch would not finish his undergraduate career at Fordham.  Instead, he  contracted with the New York Giants in 1919. The

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Dr. Joseph J. Loferski

Loferski, J. J. (Joseph John) Dr. Joseph J. Loferski, physicist and pioneer in the development of modern solar cells, hewas professor emeritus and chair of engineering at Brown. Born and educated in Pennsylvania, Dr. Loferski focused his career on photovoltaic cells and the properties of semiconductors. He joined the Brown faculty as an associate professor

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Colonel Patrick Henry Quinn

Patrick Henry Quinn was born in 1869 in the Warwick mill village of Phenix. He followed the successful path of many ambitious Irish-Catholics by interlacing labor union activity with legal training and Democratic Party activism within the even larger framework of his ethnicity and religion. He was a masterful speaker and seemed to belong to

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David Hartman

David Hartman, from Pawtucket, starred in The Bold Ones, and Lucas Tanner, establishing him as a top ranked television star. As anchorman on NBC’s Good Morning America from 1975-1987, he also did yeoman’s work behind the scenes for Jerry Lewis’s telethon for Muscular Dystrophy.

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Attorney General Julius C. Michaelson

Michaelson, Julius C., 1922-2011 A champion for human, civil and labor rights, Julius C. Michaelson spent a decades-long long career of public service, fighting for social justice. He was best known for the “Michaelson Act,"  requiring school districts to bargain in good faith with teachers, ending the long-standing practice of ignoring teachers to put force

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Captain William Henry Allen

Allen, William Henry, 1784-1813   Far less known than Rhode Island’s Oliver Hazard Perry, the hero of the September 1813 Battle of Lake Erie, Captain William Henry Allen was no less daring and courageous. He was born in Providence on October 21, 1784, the son of Sarah Jones, sister of Governor William Jones, and Major William

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Rocky Marciano

Rocky Marciano, 1923-1969, was the world’s undefeated heavy-weight boxing champion from 1952 to 1956 when he shocked the sports world by retiring at the age of thirty-two. Although he came from Brockton, MA, many Rhode Island sports fans adopted him since he fought the majority of his contests in Providence’s now demolished Providence Auditorium on

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Benjamin Ide Wheeler

Benjamin Ide Wheeler (1854-1927), joins James Burrill Angell as a significant contribution from the Ocean State to the world of university administration. Angell, born in Foster, Rhode Island, was the editor of the Providence Journal before becoming president of the University of Vermont and serving thirty-eight years as the president of the University of Michigan

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U.S. Senator and Governor J. Howard McGrath

Governor, Senator, U.S. Solicitor General, and Attorney General, J. Howard McGrath had compiled an impressive resume by the time he reached his fiftieth year. Born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island on November 28, 1903, he was the second son of Irish mill worker James J. and his wife Ida (May) McGrath. Leaving the Blackstone Valley area

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Robert Owens “Bob” Tiernan

Robert O. Tiernan was an attorney, member of the Rhode Island General Assembly, member of the United States House of Representatives and a high-ranking federal government official during his career of public service. Born in Providence on February 24, 1929 to Joseph and Mary (nee McConnell), Tiernan attended LaSalle Academy where he achieved All State

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Joseph R. Brown

Joseph R. Brown, 1810-1876,  was a mechanical genius who co-founded Brown & Sharpe Mfg. Co. which became one of the leading manufacturers of machine tools.

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Oliver G. Pratt

Oliver G. Pratt was Superintendent of Rhode Island Hospital for many years. He received citations from many national health organizations and was considered one of the foremost administrators of hospitals in the nation.

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Michael A. “Mike” Tranghese

Michael A. Tranghese is a former collegiate golfer, sports information director and, most notably, the long-term commissioner of one of the most successful college athletic conferences of all-time. Mr. Tranghese was born on February 2, 1944 in Springfield, Massachusetts to Michael and Josephine (nee DiSantis).  He attended Cathedral High School in Springfield and upon graduation

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Zachariah Allen

Zacharian Allen, 1795-1882, was a lawyer, inventor, and civic leader of the nineteenth century. One of his most notable inventions was the home hot-air furnace. He also originated the Providence Water Works and is credited with introducing the first vehicles to the Providence Fire Company. Allen was also instrumental in setting up the mutal fire

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S. J. Perelman

S. J. Perelman, 1904-1979, was born in Brooklyn, NY, but moved to Smith Hill in Providence at an early age. Perelman attended Classical High School and matriculated at Brown University, but did not graduate. However, he did receive an honorary Doctorate in 1965 from this “Institution on the Hill.” Perelman wrote several screen stories for

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Senator Philip Allen

 Allen, Philip, 1785-1865 Senator Philip Allen (1785-1865) of Providence was a merchant, a textile magnate, a reform governor (1851-53), and a one-term United States Senator (1853-1859).   The brother of Zachariah Allen, noted inventor and industrialist, and the uncle of Thomas Wilson Dorr, Allen was also prominent in banking and insurance.   A graduate of Brown

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Warren Alpert

Pursuing Health to Benefit Society “I wanted to be rich,’ he told the Boston Globe very seriously in 1988, “so I could give my money away.” That would all happen but not nearly as quickly has he might have hoped. He had graduated from BU in 1942, and by June 1944, he was a private

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George R. Ramsbottom

George Ramsbottom, 1888-1979, was a Pawtucket industrialist who was President-Treasurer of the Seekonk Lace Company. An angel to the Pawtucket Boys Club, he gave them Camp Ramsbottom for summer recreation. He was also active in Red Cross and Community Chest drives. Ramsbottom is also credited with helping to write the Pawtucket City Charter.

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Chief Justice Samuel Ames

 Ames, Samuel, 1806-1865 Chief Justice Samuel Ames (1806-1865) of Providence served in many public capacities including state legislator, speaker of the house, and quartermaster general of the state militia. His most significant service was as chief justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court (1856-1865).   Ames studied at Phillips-Andover Academy and graduated from Brown University in

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Arthur “Artie” Cabral

Arthur “Artie” Cabral is a prominent drummer on the national and regional music scene whose first professional music job came at the age of 13. Artie has also served as president of the Providence Federation of Musicians, AFM 198-457, for the past eighteen years and has just been elected to another two-year term.

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Daniel P. Reilly

Father Daniel P. Reilly, 1907-1962, a native of South Providence, was ordained as a Catholic Priest in 1953. He then went on to become personal secretary to Bishop McVinney, and rose to Chancellor and then Vicar General of the Providence Diocese. On August 6, 1975, he was installed as Bishop of Norwich.

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Elizabeth Buffum Chace

Elizabeth Buffum Chace, the first woman to be memorialized with a statue in the Rhode Island State House, was an antislavery activist and a pioneering advocate for women’s suffrage. The daughter of abolitionist leader Arnold Buffum, she married fellow Quaker Samuel Chace, a Fall River textile manufacturer. The Chaces had ten children; tragically the oldest five died

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Catherine O’Reilly Collette

Cathy Collette was born in North Providence, grew up in Harmony, and is a 1969 graduate of Rhode Island College. She began her illustrious career with the state Department of Elderly Affairs where she helped to organize workers and became active in her local union, an affiliate of the 1.3 million member American Federation of

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Dr. Henry M. Wriston

Born in Laramie, Wyoming, Henry Merritt Wriston was the son of Henry Lincoln Wriston, a Methodist minister and Jennie Amelia (Atcheson) Wriston, a schoolteacher. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in English literature in 1911 and his Master of Arts the following year, both from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. He continued his studies at Harvard

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Thomas Robinson Hazard

  Hazard, Thomas R. (Thomas Robinson), 1797-1886   Thomas Robinson Hazard was a South Kingstown manufacturer, agriculturalist, author, and social reformer who embodied the egalitarian spirit of the pre-Civil War age of reform.   Affectionately called “Shepard Tom” because of his prize sheep herd, Hazard was a seventh generation descendant of Thomas Hazard, the progenitor

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John R. Dionne

Woonsocket-born John Dionne, is the son of the late Raymond Dionne and Elizabeth (Krawczyk) Dionne. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy after dropping out of high school in the 11th grade, but he received a GED while in the Navy from the Rhode Island Department of Education. However, John is not known for his educational

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James Henry Van Alen II

In 1975, James Henry Van Alen II was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame because of his contributions to the world of tennis. Van Alen earned renown as the founder of Newport’s International Tennis Hall of Fame, the largest tennis museum in the world. A poet, musician, publisher, civic leader and storyteller,

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Dr. Usher Parsons

  Parsons, Usher, 1788-1868 Dr. Usher Parsons of Providence was Rhode Island’s foremost physician of the early 19th century. Born in Alfred, Maine, the youngest of nine children, Parsons had little formal schooling, but began the study of medicine as an apprentice to physicians in Alfred and Boston. Parsons was licensed to practice by the Massachusetts Medical

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Major General Morphis Albert Jamiel

Major General Morphis Albert Jamiel, 1922-2013, truly exemplified the very best of America. Born into the well-known Jamiel family of Warren in 1922, his parents were the late Albert and Mary Jamiel. He had twelve brothers and sisters. From this humble origin in the small town of Warren, he eventually carved out a notable career as

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Reverend Cornelius Philip Forster O.P.

Reverend Cornelius P. Forster was born October 27, 1919 in New York City, the third of four children of Cornelius A. Forster, Sr., a New York fireman, and Mary Catherine Collins, an accomplished singer and pianist. Father Forster was educated at Cathedral Boy’s High School where he won numerous academic awards and city-wide recognition in

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John Nicholas Brown

John Nicholas Brown, 1900-1979, was a former assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air, senior fellow at Brown University and a director of the Smithsonian Institution. He directed the search and recovery of the works of art stolen by the Nazis for which he was decorated by the French and Belgian governments.

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Congressman Elisha Reynolds Potter Jr.

Congressman Elisha Reynolds Potter, Jr. (1811-1882) of South Kingstown was the son and namesake of a U.S. congressman, Elisha Reynolds Potter, Sr. (1764-1835) and Mary (Mawney) Potter. The remarkably varied career of this Harvard graduate included such occupations and positions as attorney, historian, adjutant general, state legislator, congressman, state commissioner of public schools (succeeding Henry

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Albert T. Klyberg

Albert T. Klyberg, a native of New Jersey, came to Rhode Island in 1968 after completing his doctoral courses at the University of Michigan. His purpose was to assume the directorship of the staid Rhode Island Historical Society–a position he held with distinction for three decades. Upon arrival Al immediately recognized a deficit in the

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Louis “Lou” Lamoriello

Louis A. Lamoriello is the president and general manager of the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League (NHL). After attending LaSalle Academy, Lamoriello graduated from Providence College in 1963. He earned varsity letters in baseball and hockey and served each team as captain during his senior year. Following graduation, he taught math at

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Manuel Gorriaran

Manuel Gorriaran, 1938-2012, was a sportsman, philanthropist, industrialist, and a Pan-American-World Olympic Wrestling Team manager. He was a member of the Helms Hall of Fame, won the International Amateur Wrestling Federation’s highest award and was Chairman of People to People Rhode Island. ce President, President and then Chairman of Hook-Fast Specialties, Inc., a family-owned jewelry

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Dr. Isaac Ray

>Dr. Isaac Ray (1807-1881) is one of the fathers of American psychiatry. A native of Beverly, Massachusetts, Ray graduated from Phillips-Andover Academy and attended Bowdoin College in Maine, but left prior to graduation. Returning to Beverly, Ray served a medical apprenticeship to a local doctor, then enrolled at Harvard Medical School, and eventually concluded his studies at

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Ambassador J. William Middendorf II

John William Middendorf II of Little Compton was born in Baltimore, Maryland on September 22, 1924. He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 1945 with a bachelor’s degree in naval science after having served in World War II as an engineering officer and navigator aboard LCS 53. He then earned an A.B.

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Robert B. Lynch

Bob "Chief" Lynch was known for his volunteer contributions to the preservation and promotion of Rhode Island’s heritage over the last four decades.  Lynch graduated from Cranston High School and Brown University (Class of 1944). He was a Navy veteran of World War II. He served  on the Harry F. Bauer in the Pacific, and participated

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William T. Halloran

William T. Halloran was the former Assistant Postmaster of Providence Post Office and for many years one of the nation top football officials, both in professional and collegiate circles. His part-time refereeing and umpiring avocation were paralleled by full-time work for the Providence Post Office. He was assistant postmaster when he retired in 1963 after

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Chief Justice William Read Staples

Chief Justice William Read Staples of Providence was a prominent lawyer, jurist, and civil servant. With the possible exception of Samuel Greene Arnold, who eulogized him, Staples was also the premier Rhode Island historian of the nineteenth century. In the 1820s, Staples became a leader of the Rhode Island bar and then a prosecutor for

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Bernard Thomas “Slick” Pina

Bernard Thomas “Slick” Pina, 1930-2013, was the oldest and most accomplished of three brothers from South Providence who dominated the local sports scene in the 1950s. Slick’s brother Tommy followed him as a two-time all-state halfback at LaSalle Academy. Joe, who did not attend high school or college, compiled a remarkable record as an amateur

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Jeffery Osborne

Jeffrey Osborne is a well-known funk R&B musician, singer-songwriter, lyricist and lead singer of the band, L.T.D.. Born in Providence to a musical family, (father Clarence "Legs" Osborne, was a popular trumpeter who played with Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington), he began his professional career in 1970 with a band called Love Men

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Commodore Esek Hopkins

Commodore Esek Hopkins, 1718-1802, brother of Stephen Hopkins, became the first Commander-in-Chief of the United States Navy, achieving the rank of Commodore.

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Catherine R. (Arnold) Williams

Catharine R. (Arnold) Williams (1790-1872) of Providence was one of Rhode Island’s major literary figures of the nineteenth century. She was the daughter of Alfred Arnold, a sea captain, and Amey Read. Her mother died when Catharine was a child, so the oft-absent father entrusted her education and upbringing to two of her aunts. Catharine

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Thomas A. Verdi

Providence Police Department Major Thomas A. Verdi has achieved a level of performance in the field of law enforcement comparable to other notable Hall of Fame members such as Colonel Walter Stone, Major Lionel Benjamin, and Chief John Partington, founder of the federal Witness Protection Program–but Tom did it, in part, as an undercover cop far

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Lila M. Sapinsley

Lila Sapinsley, a trailblazer for women in Rhode Island politics and beloved wife of John Sapinsley. She was a state Senator for Rhode Island and rose to Senate minority leader. In 1972, Lila Sapinsley was elected to the state Senate and became Senate Majority Leader, the first woman to hold a leadership post in the

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William Michael Vareika

Historian and philan- thropist, William Vareika exemplifies the art of giving. Raised in Brockton, Massachusetts, Vareika had every intention of becoming a lawyer. In the Fall of 1971, the political science major took a class in 19th-century art mainly to fulfill a school requirement. One day, he slipped into Bostons Trinity Church to reject on

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Thomas Alexander Tefft

Thomas Alexander Tefft (1826-1859) was a major nineteenth century American architect. He was born in Richmond, Rhode Island in humble surroundings. The names of his parents are unknown, and details of his early years are obscure. Yet he is probably the town of Richmond’s most famous native son. His talent for drawing was discovered by

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Dr. D. Scott Molloy Jr.

Scott was born on August 17, 1946 into an Irish-Catholic, blue-collar family from the Reservoir Triangle neighborhood of Providence that had close ties to organized labor. His working-class background and his Irish ethnicity exerted profound influences upon his career and his achievements. Scott eventually became a labor leader and Rhode Island’s foremost labor historian as

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William D. Warner FAIA

Warren D. Warner, 1929-2012, was a former Rhode Island School of Design instructor and the architect credited with redesigning Providence and revitalizing the waterfront. Warner and fellow RISD professor Friedrich St. Florian used a restaurant table napkin to sketch their vision for a re-imagined downtown Providence waterfront. Warner’s enduring legacy is Providence’s River Relocation and

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Richard L Bready 2017

Richard L. “Rick” Bready is an outstanding model of the successful international entrepreneur and corporate citi- zen who never really retires. Rick began his business career in 1967 as an accountant with Arthur Anderson in Boston where he was born in 1944 and grew up. He attended public and parochial schools in the Boston area;

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Wilkins Updike

Wilkins Updike (1784-1867), a member of the noted Cocumscussoc family of North Kingstown, was the youngest of eleven children of Lodowick and Abigail Updike and himself the father of twelve. Wilkins moved to the village of Kingston as a young man after the Updikes lost Cocumscussoc through business reverses, and for many years he represented South Kingstown

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Colonel Gonzalo Edward “Ned” Buxton Jr.

Gonzalo Edward “Ned” Buxton Jr. (1880-1949) was born in Kansas City, Mo., to Dr. G. Edward and Sarah A. Harrington Buxton. When he was a teenager, his family moved back to their Rhode Island ancestral home. Showing early signs of leadership and intelligence, Ned graduated from Worcester’s Highland Military Academy in 1898 as class valedictorian.

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Frank J. Williams

Frank J. Williams is a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, a notable Abraham Lincoln scholar and author, and a Justice on the Military Commission Review Panel. He has written and edited fourteen books; contributed chapters to several others; and lectured on Abraham Lincoln throughout the country. He has amassed an

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John C. Quinn

John Quinn, 1944-1990, former Providence Journal-Bulletin editor, became Vice President for Supervision of News for the Gannett chain of fifty-three dailies in sixteen states and Guam. He was also past president of the Associated Press Managing Editors Association.

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Mother Mary Frances Xavier Warde

Mother Mary Frances Xavier Warde, 1840-1884, was the American founder of the Sisters of Mercy (R.S.M.). Born in Ireland to fairly prosperous parents, she was orphaned in her teens. At age sixteen she moved to Dublin where she met Catherine McAuley, a social service worker, who established the Sisters of Mercy in 1831 to provide for the

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John Anthony “Jack” Flynn

John Anthony “Jack” Flynn (1883-1935), the legendary coach of baseball at Providence College, will be inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame tomorrow. Participating in the ceremony on behalf of Providence College, which dropped baseball in 1999, is Bob Bellemore, a Friar baseball and hockey great, and my former teammate. Jack Flynn was

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David L. Angell

David L. Angell was best known for producing Emmy Award winning shows Cheers," "Wings" and "Frasier."Born on April 10, 1946 in Providence, David Angell was the youngest of three children of Mae Cooney Angell and Henry Angell.  David attended Providence College, where he studied English literature. Following his graduation from PC, David enlisted in the U.S.

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Catherine Robinson

Catherine Robinson, an outspoken champion of civil rights, approached that goal through practical application of better race relations. She was Assistant Director of the University of Rhode Island Extension Division Service until her mandatory retirement.

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Reverend Francis Wayland

Reverend Francis Wayland, 1796-1856, was a prominent Baptist minister, the president of Brown University (1826-1855), pastor of Providence’s First Baptist Church, and an influential moral philosopher.  Wayland, the son and namesake of a Baptist minister, was born in New York City and graduated from Union College. Then, after two years of medical study, he attended Andover

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Justice Antonio Caposto

Justice Antonio Capotosto, 1879-1962, Harvard-educated lawyer and first Italian-American member of the Rhode Island Bar Association, assistant attorney general, Superior and Supreme Court justice, founder and first president of the Aurora Club.

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David McKenna

David McKenna was an internationally knonw swing jazz pianist from Woonsocket. Though his entire family was musical, David was largely self taught listening to the radio and to recordings by his favorites Nat King Cole and Teddy Wilson. At the age of twelve, he first began play for local weddings and dances. At fifteen, he joined

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Charles C. Tillinghast Jr.

Legal mind, industrialist, and investment banker, Charles C. Tillinghast served as the chairman of Trans World Airlines (T.W.A.). Born in 1911 in Saxtons River, Vermont, he was the son of Charles C. and Adelaide (Shaw) Tillinghast. He graduated from the Horace Mann School in the Riverdale section of Bronx, New York in 1928, and then

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Catherine R. (Arnold) Williams

Catharine Read (Arnold) Williams (1790-1872) of Providence was one of Rhode Island’s major literary figures of the nineteenth century. She was the daughter of Alfred Arnold, a sea captain, and Amey Read. Her mother died when Catherine was a child, so the oft-absent father entrusted her education and upbringing to two of her aunts. Catharine

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Colonel Everitte St. John Chaffee

Everitte St. John Chaffee (1879- 1971) was born in Dutchess County, New York in 1880. Upon graduation from Yale and then from Harvard Law School, he traveled to Rhode Island in 1904, and married Carolyn Peck of Barrington in 1911. As a member of the politically connected Peck family (William Peck was GOP state chairman),

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Zechariah Chafee Jr.

Zecharian Chafee was born in Providence to a political family descended from Roger Williams. Chafee attended Brown, where he was a fellow. After graduating fron Brown in 1907, he went on to study law at Harvard University. While attending Harvard, he became influenced by the theories of sociological Jurisprudence presented by Roscoe Pound and others at

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Dr. Carl R. Woodward

Born in Tennent, Monmouth County, New Jersey on July 20, 1890, Carl Raymond Woodward graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science in 1914 and a Master of Arts in 1919. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1926 in agricultural economics, rural education, and rural sociology, and served in various capacities at

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Christiana Carteaux Bannister

Bannister, Christiana Carteaux, 1822-1903 Christiana Carteaux Bannister was born Christiana Babcock in Rhode Island’s South County sometime between 1820 and 1822. Details concerning her birth and background are obscure, but she appears to have been of mixed native American and African-American parentage and was undoubtedly descended from slaves that worked the plantations of South County

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Governor William S. Flynn

Gov. William S. Flynn, (1885-1966) was a member of the Rhode Island State Senate from 1912 – 1914 and again from 1917 – 1922. He was Governor of Rhode Island from 1923 to 1925, and brother of Chief Justice Edmund Flynn and Coach John A. “Jack” Flynn. Flynn, a native of South Providence and the

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Arthur E. Lake

Art Lake was a well-known broadcaster for WJAR for over 60 years.He began is radio announcing career 1944, while studying at Emerson College. He worked on Breakfast Tray, a show which broadcasted from the Outlet Department store in downtown Providence. He was a member of WAJR’s pioneer television team in 1949. He worked first as a booth

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Rev. Aloysius B. Begley O.P.

Aloysius Patrick Begley (1905-1978) was born July 19, 1905, one of four brothers and two sisters, to Thomas J. and Bernadette (Murphy) Begley of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. After his primary education, he entered the Lindsay Collegiate Institute in Lindsay, Ontario, and then was transferred to Providence College in 1927 as a pre-ecclesiastic student, before his

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Major General George Newman Bliss

Bliss, George Newman, 1837-1928 George Newman Bliss was born in Tiverton, Rhode Island on July 22, 1837, the son of James and Sarah (Stafford) Bliss. He attended Brown University, secured a bachelor’s degree from Union College, and earned a law degree from Albany Law School in 1861. Enlisting in the Civil War as a private,

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Chief Justice Edmund W. Flynn

Chief Justice Edmund W. Flynn, 1890-1957, Rhode Island’s longest-serving chief justice, graduate of Georgetown Law School, state representative from South Providence, legal scholar, architect of the “Bloodless Revolution,” and a draftsman of the two most recent digests of Rhode Island’s general laws (1938 and 1956). After graduation from Holy Cross College and Georgetown Law School,

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Victoria S. Lederberg

Lederberg, Victoria, — 1937- Lederberg was a psychology professor and state legislator before becoming a state Supreme Court judge in 1993. Lederberg earned her bachelors and masters at doctoral degrees Brown University. She served as Providence Municipal Court judge and was professor of psychology at Rhode Island College. She served as state representative from 1975-1983

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Dr. Leon Cooper

Dr. Leon Cooper, a physicist at Brown University, won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1972, with two other U.S. scientists.  Their discovery illustrated how extremely low temperatures make metal superconductive. He is the Thomas J. Watson, Sr. Professor of Science at Brown, and Director of the Institute for Brain and Neural Systems.

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Major General Ambrose Everett Burnside

Ambrose Everett Burnside was born in Liberty, Indiana on May 23, 1824, one of nine children of Irish and Scottish ancestry born to Edghill and Pamela (Brown) Burnside. His father had been a South Carolina slaveholder who moved to Indiana after freeing his slaves. Edghill Burnside became a legislator in his adopted state–a position that

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Mayor Joseph Henry Gainer

Mayor Joseph Henry Gainer, 1878-1945, attorney, city councilman, alderman, and Providence mayor from 1913 to 1927, presided over development of city’s outer harbor, creation of its water supply, and other projects. Joseph Henry Gainer was born in Providence, January 18, 1878, the son of John and Margaret (Keogh) Gainer, immigrants from Ireland. One of the

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Edward “Eddie Zack” Zackarian

A native son of Rhode Island, Eddie Zack (1922-2002), was was an American country music artist primarily known for his appearances on various radio shows. His career began at the age of 16 singing with his brother Richie (known professional as “Cousin Richie”).In 1939 the two brothers formed a band called Eddie Zack and the

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Nelson Eddy

Nelson Eddy, 1901-1967, was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Company who later acheived fame as the singing star in eight light operetic films, co-starring with Jeanette MacDonald.

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Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis

Davis, Paulina W. (Paulina Wright), 1813-1876 Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis was born in Bloomfield, New York on August 7, 1813, the daughter of Captain Ebenezer Kellogg and Polly Saxon. After the death of both parents, Paulina was raised by a strict orthodox Presbyterian aunt. After a brief immersion with religion, Paulina married Francis Wright, a

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Isabelle Florence Ahearn O’Neill

Isabelle Florence Ahearn O’Neill, 1880-1975, stage and silent-film actress and suffragette. She was the state’s first female legislator, elected to the House in 1922. She also served as deputy Democratic floor leader in the Senate. Isabelle Florence Ahearn O’Neill, 1880-1975, stage and silent-film actress and suffragette. She was the state’s first female legislator, elected to

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Reginald A. Centracchio

Reginald A. Centracchio was born in West Warwick. He enlisted in the R.I. National Guard at 17 and graduated from Officer Candidate School five years later. He is the only adjutant general from Rhode Island to serve his entire career within the Rhode Island National Guard.  During the Cold War years, he served as a

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Charles A. “Rip” Engle

Charles A. "Rip" Engle was Head Football Coach at both Brown University and Penn. State.  In sixteen years with the Nittany Lions, he never had a losing season.  Mr. Engle is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, and a past President of the American Football Coaches Association.

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Congressman Thomas Davis

Davis, Thomas, 1806-1895 Thomas Davis was born in Dublin, Ireland on December 18, 1806, attended private schools in Ireland, and migrated to America in 1817, settling in Providence. Davis became a pioneer in Rhode Island’s jewelry industry and amassed sufficient wealth to enable him to finance a variety of political, civic, and reform endeavors. Davis

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Abigail Aldrich Rockefeller

Abigail Aldrich Rockefeller, 1874-1948, was the daughter of U.S. Sen. Nelson Aldrich, patron of the arts, and advocate for women’s rights. She worked with her husband, John D. Rockefeller Jr., in restoration of Colonial Williamsburg. Through her marriage to financier and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr., she was a prominent member of the Rockefeller family

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Dr. John Nazarian

John Nazarian is an accomplished musician and long-time professor and President Emeritus of Rhode Island College. At the time of his retirement in 2008, he was associated with Rhode Island College for 58 continuous years as student, teacher, and administrator. Born in Pawtucket on September 6, 1932, a son of immigrants and one of eleven

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Rt. Rev. John Seville Higgins D.D.

John Seville Higgins was born in London England on April 14, 1904.He immigrated to the United States in 1923 and became a naturalized citizen in 1936. A graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio, with both baccalaureate and master’s degrees. He entered Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston Illinois where he received a bachelor’s degree in divinity.

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George T. Downing

George T. Downing, abolitionist, businessman, and civil rights advocate, was born in New York City on December 30, 1819 into a prominent, well-to-do African-American family. His father Thomas Downing was a restauranteur, whose Oyster House was a gathering place for New York’s aristocracy and politicians. Under his father’s guidance, young George participated in the Underground

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John D. Rockefeller Jr.

John D. Rockefeller Jr., 1878-1960, son and heir of the oil magnate, philanthropist, provided land on which the United Nations building is located, donated $6 million to Brown University, his alma mater, for the school’s library. He was married to Abby Aldrich, daughter of U.S. Senator Nelson Aldrich. Their wedding was one of the most

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Chester R. Nichols, Jr.

  Chester R. “Chet” Nichols spent nine years as a major league pitcher. As a rookie with the Boston Braves, he led the National League in 1951 with the lowest earned run average. Chet was a schoolboy pitching star and all-state selection at Pawtucket East High School. He was signed as a young left-hander with the Braves in

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Mowry Lowe

Mowry Lowe was born on March 12, 1910 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island to Samuel and Fanny (Udler) Perlow. He graduated from both Pawtucket High School and Northeastern University in Boston. He began his long career in radio broadcasting in 1931 as “Maury Lowe” when he joined WEAN Providence as an intern. He was known for

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Major General George Sears Greene

Greene, George Sears, 1801-1899 George Sears Greene, distinguished military leader and civil engineer, was born in Warwick’s central village of Apponaug on May 6, 1801, the son of Caleb Greene, a shipowner and relative of General Nathanael Greene and Sarah Robinson. The family’s military heritage influenced George to attend West Point where his great skill

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Harold Stirling Vanderbilt

Harold Stirling Vanderbilt, 1884-1970, great-grandson of shipping and railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt. He was a railroad executive, America’s Cup yachtsman with three Cup defenses, commodore of the New York Yacht Club, and originator of contract bridge. The third child and second son of William Kissam Vanderbilt and Alva Erskine Smith and great-grandson of the shipping

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Judge Raymond J. Pettine

Judge Raymond J. Pettine (1912-2003) is remembered as one of Rhode Island’s most distinguished jurists, especially revered for his commitment to freedom of expression and equal treatment for all, including even those who are despised by the majority. Judge Pettine was appointed to the United States District Court by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966

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Joseph Vincent Paterno

Joe Paterno, 1926-2012, was one of the winningest coaches in the nation. He never had a losing season during his tenure as Head Coach of head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions from 1966 to 2011. A Brooklyn native, he attended Brown University where he played football both as the quarterback and a cornerback.

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Rowland Gibson Hazard

  Hazard, Rowland Gibson, 1801-1888 Rowland Gibson Hazard was born in South Kingstown, Rhode Island on October 9, 1801, the fourth of nine children of Rowland Hazard and Mary Peace of Charleston, South Carolina. In 1819, with his brother Isaac, he assumed control of his father’s small woolen mill in the village of Peace Dale,

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Msgr. William Michael Delaney Jr.

William Delaney was born in Providence, Rhode Island on August 10, 1903 the second of four children of William and Margaret (nee Finneran) Delaney. He grew up in South Providence graduating from the Tyler Parochial School and LaSalle Academy. Delaney then attended Georgetown University and St. Charles College, a minor seminary in Catonsville, Maryland before

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Alice A. Sullivan

When Alice Sullivan was growing up, she dreamed about playing high school sports. She never realized her dream but, thanks to her dedication, thousands of young women have experienced the thrill of being a high school athlete. For more than five decades, Alice Sullivan tirelessly dedicated herself to helping girls enjoy the benefits of athletic competition.

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George H. Corliss

George H. Corliss, 1817-1888,  was the developer of the steam engine. The famous gigantic engine built by Corliss won a first prize at the Paris Exposition of 1867 as well as many other awards.

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Julia Ward Howe

Howe, Julia Ward, 1819-1910 Julia Ward Howe, born in New York City on May 27, 1819, had deep Rhode Island roots. Two of her ancestors–Richard Ward and Samuel Ward–were prominent colonial governors of Rhode Island and her grandfather Samuel Ward commanded the Black Regiment in the Battle of Rhode Island. Her father, Samuel Jr. was

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John P. Cronin

John P. Cronin served as Director of Recreation for the City of Providence for many years. He also made major contributions to many other Rhode Island youth programs, serving as a baseball, football, and hockey coach at La Salle Academy for 45 years.

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Friedrich St. Florian AIA

"War must not be glorified, but war must be remembered." Friedrich St. Florian set out to do just that. His design of the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. remembers not only the sacrifices of American fighting men and women in that war, but the home front contributions to victory as well. The

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George William Curtis

George W. Curtis, 1824-1892, was an essayist and lecturer who became editor of Harper’s magazine. A co-founder of the Republican Party, he led the movement for civic service reform.

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Brigadier General Elisha Hunt Rhodes

Elisha Hunt Rhodes, eldest son of ship captain Elisha Hunt Rhodes and Eliza Ann (Chace) Rhodes, was born in Pawtuxet Village on March 21, 1842. This lineal descendant of Roger Williams attended schools in Cranston and Providence including Potter & Hammond’s Commercial College. His father’s death at sea when Elisha was only sixteen left him

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Dr. E. Gardner Jacobs

E. Gardner Jacobs (1901- 1985), who succeeded his father Henry L. Jacobs as president of Bryant College (now University), was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1901, and grew up in Providence, Rhode Island. He was a graduate of Moses Brown School and went to Bryant for his baccalaureate and master’s degree. Passionate about the college,

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Norma Ann (Bergquist) Garnett Ed.D.

  Garnett, Norma Ann, 1930- Norma Ann (Bergquist) Garnett, Doctor Education, an innovative educator, has been a luminary in foreign language education since 1964. Dr. Garnett has instructed thousands of students and mentored hundreds of teachers, while receiving many prestigious local and national honors. She received one of Rhode Island’s first Milken Educator Awards. She

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Thomas W. Dorr

Thomas Wilson Dorr, 1806-1854, was known as Rhode Island’s greatest political and constitional reformer, and the principle draftsman of the People’s Constitution in 1841. He became Governor of Rhode Island in 1842 on the People’s Party ticket, and was the leader of the famous Dorr Rebellion.

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Brigadier General Isaac Peace Rodman

Isaac Peace Rodman was born in South Kingstown on August 18, 1822 to Samuel Rodman, a woolen manufacturer, and Mary (Peckham) Rodman. His ancestors included members of South Kingstown’s most prominent clans–the Hazards and the Perrys. After attending local public schools Isaac entered his father’s business, but his love of learning and avid reading habits

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Felix Mirando

Felix Mirando is a Povidence business and civic leader who co-founded the Imperial Knife Co., one of the largest cutlery firms in the United States. He was many times for his work in civic, charitable and religious enterprises.

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Dr. John J. McLaughlin

The marvelous story of Rhode Island’s own John Joseph McLaughlin leads one through more twists and turns than a Rocky Point roller coaster. Born on March 29, 1927 to Augustus and Eva (Turcotte) McLaughlin, he grew up in the neighborhoods of Edgewood and Mount Pleasant. His earliest run at greatness included stints as a pharmacy

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John Goddard

John Goddard, 1724-1785,  was an early Amercan cabinetmaker and the nation’s first furniture craftsman. He was the originator of block front knee-hole desks and secratary’s desks.

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Major General Frank Wheaton

Frank Wheaton (1833-1903) was a Providence native who distinguished himself with the United States and Mexico Boundary Commission and with the U.S. Cavalry during and after the Civil War. Born on May 8, 1833 in Providence, the son of Dr. Francis L. Wheaton and Amelia S. (Burrill) Wheaton, Frank attended public schools and studied engineering

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C. Alexander Peloquin

Alexander Peloquin, 1918-1997, was a composer, choir director, concert organist and lituriologist. For 23 years, Peloquin served as the leader of the famed choral group which bears his name. He also served for many years as music director at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul and choral conductor at Boston College.

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Major General Harold N. Read

General Harold Read started his military career in 1942 as a member of the Rhode Island State Guard. He was inducted into federal service during World War II and served in the European Theater as a member of the IX Troop Carrier Command, First Allied Airborne Army. He participated in the airborne invasions of Normandy,

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Stephen Hopkins

Stephen Hopkins, 1707-1785, was Governor of Rhode Island for ten years and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Historians rate him as “one of the most illustrious citizens Rhode Island has ever produced. Stephen Hopkins.John Hagen, 1999, Brown University Portrait Collection.

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William G. Angell

Angell, William Gorham, 1811-1870 William G. Angell (1811-1870) was a native of Providence and a descendant of Thomas Angell, one of Providence’s first settlers. Despite his lineage, William’s family was one of modest means. He acquired only a basic common school education and took up his father’s trade as a carpenter. However, Angell possessed what

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Dr. Firorindo A. Simeone

Dr. Fiorindo A. Simeone was Chief of Surgery at The Miriam Hospital and gained worldwide recognition for his work with artificial organs. He performed the first open-heart surgery in the Middle East. An authority on trauma and shock, he has served on the staff of many hospitals throughout the nation and on many university faculties.

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George L. Sisson

Born in Portsmouth, R.I. 1919, Resident of Bristol since 1963 Fall River Public Schools, Durfee High, 1938 William & Mary College, A.B., 1942 U.S. Navy, 1942-1946 Radio Station WALE, Fall River,1947-1963 – Founder/Owner WTEV-Channel 6, 1963-65 – Public Affairs/Marketing Westerly Cable Television, 1965 – Owner – Rhode Island’s first cable TV system President, Fall River/New

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Samuel Gorton

Samuel Gorton, 1592-1677, was a colonial leader who was the first settler of Warwick, RI. He inspired the development of a religious sect called the Gortonists. Photograph of Samuel Gorton grave medallion, Gorton Cemetery, Warwick, Rhode Island. Sarnold17 Wikipedia.

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Samuel Greene Arnold

Samuel Greene Arnold (1821-1880) is one of the two foremost historians of colonial Rhode Island.  He was born into a prominent merchant family and was descended from Thomas Arnold, one of Providence’s earliest settlers.  Arnold was educated by private tutors, attended private schools, graduated from Brown University in 1841, and earned a law degree from

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H. Philip West Jr.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Phil West graduated from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York in 1963 as an honors major in English Literature. He entered the prestigious Union Theological Seminary from which he received a masters of divinity degree in 1967 with a year of research at Cambridge University in England, the alma

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Milton Stanzler Esq.

Milton Stanzler founded the Rhode Island affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union and served as its first president in 1959. He built the organization into a formidable operation that supported the separation of church and state and freedom of speech locally. The United States Supreme Court decided several of his cases. Milton often took

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John R. Rathom

John R. Rathom, 1868-1923, was the energetic editor of the Providence Journal who served during World War I. He also served as Boy Scout Commissioner and was credited with giving scouting its’ biggest boost during its’ formative stages. Rathom Lodge at Yawgoog Scout Reservation was named for him in 1929.

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Amos Chafee Barstow

Mayor Amos Chafee Barstow (1813-1892) was one of the most accomplished and versatile men in the history of Rhode Island.  A Providence native, Barstow made his fortune by the manufacture of stoves.  His firm, the Barstow Stove Company, located at Point and Richmond Streets covered two and one-half acres and employed 200 workers.  Barstow won

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Henry Shelton

Henry Shelton grew up in Central Falls and started his activist career as a Catholic priest. He felt warmth and achievement with worshipers at a couple of different parishes, most notably St. Michael’s Parish in South Providence, but he required greater freedom and mobility to tackle the larger issues that affected peoples’ lives. He soon

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Dr. Stanley M. Aronson

Dr. Aronson, of Rehoboth, MA, is an internationally acclaimed medical educator and researcher, founding Dean of the Brown University Medical School, co-founder of Hospice Care of Rhode Island and the Interfaith Health Care Ministries, prolific author and editor of the Rhode Island Medical Journal, and a person key to the establishment of diagnostic laboratory test

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David W. Reeves

David W. Reeves,  1838-1900, was a noted musician who lead The American Band for thirty years. He developed the American march style, later made famous by the likes of John Philip Sousa. Among the most famous of his compositions was The Connecticut Second Regiment March.  

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John Russell Bartlett

Bartlett, John Russell, 1805-1886 John Russell Bartlett (1805-1886) is generally regarded as Rhode Island’s greatest secretary of state.  Although a Providence native, he was educated in Canada and New York and operated a bookstore in New York City during the late 1830s and 1840s.  Surrounded by books, he turned to writing.  In 1847 Bartlett published

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Alva Vanderbilt Belmont

Alva Belmont a Newport socialite was born on January 17, 1853 in Mobile, Alabama, one of six children to Murray and Phoebe Smith. She was married twice, first to William K. Vanderbilt and later to Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont. Following the death of her second husband in 1908, Alva moved back to Marble House, her

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Thomas G. Corcoran

Thomas Gardiner Corcoran,  formerly of Pawtucket, was a brilliant attorney nicknamed "Tommy the Cork", and a close companion to Oliver Wendell Holmes. He born in Pawtucket and educated at Brown (where he was class valedictorian). He later became one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s most trusted advisors, and a high level official for the powerful

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Mayor Thomas A. Doyle

Doyle, Thomas Arthur, 1827-1886 Mayor Thomas A. Doyle, an independent-minded Republican of Irish Protestant stock, is regarded by historians as Providence’s greatest mayor. He was born in Providence as one of seven children, including a sister, Sarah, who became a noted educator and advocate for women’s rights. After attending public school, Doyle gained employment as

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Anthony Quinn

Anthony Quinn was born in Chihuahua, Mexico in April 1915 during the Mexican Revolution to a Mexican-Indian mother, Manuela Oaxaca, and a half-Irish father, Francesco, or Frank, whose father had immigrated from Cork, Ireland to work for the Union Pacific Railroad. When Anthony was only eight months old, his mother hid him in a coal

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Darius L. and Lyman B. Goff

  Goff, Darius L. (Darius Lee) and Goff, Lyman Bullock The Goff Brothers, formerly of Pawtucket, were the sons of the Honorable Darius Goff, and members of one of the most prominent industrialist families in New England. They were partners in D. Goff & Sons, which occupied a foremost position among regional industrial concerns. They

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Lucian Sharpe

Lucien Sharpe, 1830-1899 was a business leader who was co-founder of Brown & Sharpe Mfg. Company. Cited for his efforts in seeking improved working conditions, he served as President of the Providence Journal Company for 13 years.

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George Washington Greene

  Greene, George Washington, 1811-1883 George Washington Greene, prominent educator and author, was born in East Greenwich and was the grandson of Nathanael Greene, the great Revolutionary War general. As a young man, Greene traveled extensively in Europe gaining proficiency in the Italian and French languages. His first wife was Italian and he served as

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Elizabeth Lillie Buffum Chace Wyman

Lillie Chace Wyman was the eighth child born into the Quaker family of Samuel Buffington Chace and Elizabeth Buffum Chace on December 10, 1847. Her maternal grandfather was Arnold Buffum the noted Rhode Island abolitionist, a co-founder and first president of the New England Anti-Slavery Society. Her mother was the leading abolitionist and woman suffragist

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Sylvia K. Hassenfeld

Mrs. Hassenfeld, formerly of Providence, lived in both New York City and Palm Beach, FL.  She was been widely recognized as an outstanding civic, cultural, and philanthropic leader of international communal services for more than 40 years.  Mrs. Hassenfeld has been described as "one of the most significant leaders in the American Jewish community of

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Margaret F. Ackroyd

Margaret Ackroyd was a native Rhode Islander who served in the State Labor Department for thirty years before her retirement. She served as Chief in the Division of Women and Children and Commissioner of Minimum Wage.  She became known as the “architect of non-discriminatory employment standards for women”. Born in Providence, she was a daughter of Timothy

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Congressman Thomas Allen Jenckes

Jenckes, Thomas A. (Thomas Allen), 1818-1875 Congressman Thomas Allen Jenckes (1818-1875) is regarded nationally as “the father of civil service reform.” He was born in Cumberland, was educated in the public schools of that town, and graduated from Brown University in 1838 where he distinguished himself in mathematics and the physical sciences. Jenckes studied law

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Margaret A. McKenna

Margaret McKenna was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1945 to parents who were lifelong teachers and administrators in the Central Falls public school system. Her father was in the first graduating class at Providence College, and her mother was a graduate of Rhode Island College. Margaret attended Holy Trinity Elementary School in Central Falls

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Joseph P. Hassett

Mr. Hassett, of East Greenwich, was one of Rhode Island’s all-time basketball greats, two-time all-stater, schoolboy All-American, and most valuable player for LaSalle Academy. He later starred for Providence College, becoming the third highest scorer in Friars history. He was twice-named All-New England and as an All-American, played for the NBA’s World Champion Seattle Supersonics.

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Daniel O. Cargill

Daniel Cargill was a native of Cumberland who served the state for forty-six years as a bridge engineer and Chief Engineer of the Division of Roads and Bridges. He played a major role in developing Rhode Island’s interstate highway system and developed bridge preservation techniques that have been utilized in many states.

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James Sullivan Lincoln

Lincoln, James Sullivan, 1811-1888 James Sullivan Lincoln was Rhode Island’s premier artist of the mid-nineteenth century and has been acclaimed by his peers as “Father of Rhode Island Art.” The Massachusetts-born Lincoln was orphaned in his teens and left his Bay State farm to become an apprentice to a firm of Providence engravers and then

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John C. Fredriksen

John Fredriksen of Smithfield was born in 1953 at the Quonset Naval Air Station where his parents were stationed as members of the U.S. Navy.  The military life was a path John wanted to follow, but a lifelong battle with asthma prevented such a career. John dropped out of high school but earned a GED

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Anne M. Hutchinson

  Hutchinson, Anne, 1591-1643 Ms. Hutchinson, formerly of Pocasset which is now Portsmouth, was born in England and immigrated to the Mass Bay Colony in 1634. Her early liberal upbringing and Puritan leanings inspired her to take a strong part in the religious life of the community, which led to her banishment from the Colony.

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Chon Day

Chauncey Addison Day, better known as Chon Day lived in Westerly and became a nationally known cartoonist who created Brother Sebastian. He was voted “Best Magazine Cartoonist of the Year” on three occasions by the National Cartoonist Society.

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Frances H. Whipple Green McDougall

Frances Whipple Green McDougall (1805-1878)was one of Rhode Island’s most significant mid-nineteenth century writers and reformers. She was born in Smithfield where she spent her childhood in modest circumstances despite her membership in two of Rhode Island’s pioneering families. Frances began her writing career by publishing her poems in local newspapers and by editing, in

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Noreen Stonor Drexel

When Noreen Stonor Drexel accepted her Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Salve Regina in 1999, she made a confession: She had never been to school. And she meant never. As a girl at her family’s ancestral estate of Stonor Park in Oxfordshire, England, she had jumped on a horse and ridden away whenever she

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Margaret Langdon-Kelly

Mrs. Langdon-Kelly, of Little Compton, was affectionately known to all as “Poggy”.  She, along with Dr. Eric Denhoff, founded Rhode Island’s famed Meeting Street School, a world renowned institution providing early education as well as medical intervention for special needs children.  Her contributions to community service are legion, and at the age of 93, she

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Bobby Hackett

Bobby (Robert) Leo Hackett (January 31, 1915 – June 7, 1976) was born in Providence, the seventh of nine children to William (a blacksmith) and Rose Hackett.  He was a popular American jazz musician who played trumpet, cornet, and guitar with Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman in the late 1930s and early 1940s. As a

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Clement Clarke Moore

Moore, Clement Clarke, 1779-1863 Clement Clarke Moore (1779-1863) was a long-time summer resident of Newport who wrote America’s best known poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” Moore was born in New York City, the son of Benjamin Moore, a clergyman. Although Clement prepared to follow in his father’s footsteps, he was never ordained, preferring instead

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Walter E. “Ted” Carter

Burrillville native Vice Admiral Walter E. “Ted’ Carter, Superintendent of the US Naval Academy, is one of the living giants of Naval aviation history. Carter flew 125 combat missions in Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. Since earning his Naval Flight Officer wings in 1982, Admiral Carter, a record-setting “Top Gun” aviator, has made 2,016

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Major General John J. Salesses

Major General Salesses, of Newport, was a retired U.S. Marine Corp Officer and accomplished Vice President for Academic Affairs at Rhode Island College. The first reservist to command a marine division, he served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Reserve Affairs, and later on the Secretary of Defense’s Reserve Forces Policy Board. He was a

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Charles Leo “Gabby” Hartnett

“Gabby” Hartnett, 1900-1972, was one of the first three Rhode Island-born men to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Mr. Hartnett, born in Woonsocket, was the oldest of fourteen children. He grew up in the nearby small town of Millville, Massachusetts, where he played baseball in the Blackstone Valley League. He was one

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William T. Nicholson

Nicholson, William Thomas, 1834-1893 William T. Nicholson was the founder of the Nicholson File Company of Providence, the originator of machine-made files in America, the largest company of its kind in the world, and one of Providence’s “five industrial wonders” of the nineteenth century. Nicholson was born on March 22, 1834 in the village of

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Donald H. Bousquet

Don Bousquet, who turned 67 this St. Patrick’s Day, was born in Pawtucket, but his parents moved the family to South County where they both worked at the University of Rhode Island. One of seven children, Don attended Chariho High School where he met his wife, Laura. He went on to the University of Rhode

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Maria Spacagna

Maria Spacagna, formerly of Providence and now living in East Greenwich, distinguished soprano and a regular guest of leading opera companies throughout the world whose many prominent recordings have earned critical acclaim. A noted performer of the role of Madame Butterfly, she is the first American-born artist to interpret the role at the famed La

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Irving R. Levine

Irving Levine, 1922-2009, became one of the country’s top newsmen in the radio and television fields. He gained fame as a reporter, photographer, and commentator while on overseas assignments and was best known as an NBC News correspondent. His career spanned nearly forty-five years. Born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island on August 26,1922 to Ukrainian immigrants

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Dr. Edwin M. Snow

Dr. Edwin M. Snow (1820-1888) was Providence’s first superintendent of health and chief statistician from 1856 to 1884. Dr. Snow was born in Pomfret, Vermont where he received his early education. He came to Rhode Island to study at Brown University and remained here after his graduation in 1845, except for his medical studies in

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Charles C. Baldelli

Charles Celeste Baldelli was born on August 4, 1933 in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.  He and his brother, Dan, were the sons of Alesandro and Marina Baldelli. True to his native city, Charlie lives in the same house in which he was born. After attending public schools in Woonsocket, Charlie served in the army during the

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Helen A. Bert

Ms. Bert, of North Providence, was a Director of Women’s Athletics at Providence College, and widely recognized for her decades of service promoting athletic opportunities for Women.  Coming to the Rhode Island when the College became co-educational in 1970, she was the first woman to be elected into the Providence College Athletic Hall of Fame

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U.S. Senator John O. Pastore

John Orlando Pastore was born in the Federal Hill section of Providence on March 17, 1907 to Michele and Erminia (Asprinio) Pastore. He married Elena Caito in 1941, and the couple had three children, Dr. John O., Jr., Frances Elizabeth, and Louise Marie. John attended Providence public schools and received his Bachelor of Law degree

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William Tripp

William Tripp (1824-91) of Little Compton was the man most responsible for the development of a breed of hens known as “the Rhode Island Red,” a fowl that has been designated the state bird. Tripp operated a farm on Long Highway in Little Compton where he conducted breeding experiments with various kinds of poultry in

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Bowen R. Church

Bowen R. Church 1860-1923, founder of The American Band of Providence, one of the great symphonic brass bands of the late 19th century. Compared often with the U.S. Marine Band of John Philip Sousa, it was led by one of America’s foremost conductors, David Wallis Reeves. The band was accorded even more acclaim for its

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Catherine T. Hammet

  Hammett, Catherine Tilley Ms. Hammett of Newport was an internationally recognized Girl Scout Official who continued to serve as a volunteer even after retirement. She was the first young woman in Newport to become a Girl Scout in 1917, then joined the Rhode Island staff as a field captain and served on the national

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Senator Nelson W. Aldrich

Senator Nelson W. Aldrich, 1841-1915, was a native of Foster who conceived and organized the present financial system of the United States. Mr. Aldrich, recognized as one of the greatest authorities on finance, served for thirty years in the U.S. Senate.

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Sarah Helen Whitman

Sarah Helen Whitman, 1803-1878, was born Sarah Helen Power. Her father was a prosperous Providence merchant. As a child, Sarah lived with an aunt in Jamaica, Long Island while she attended a Quaker school there. On returning to Providence she was placed in a private school where she learned to read French, German, and Italian

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Brigadier Gen. Herbert R. Dean

Herbert R. Dean, 1882-1941, spent most of his long life in the military including duty in the cavalry during World War I, service as Adjutant General of the Rhode Island National Guard under four governors, and Director of the Selective Service Board for Rhode Island at the beginning of World War II. He was also

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Dr. Milton W. Hamolsky

  Hamolsky, Milton W., 1921-2014 Dr. Hamolsky of Providence was the first full time Physician-In-Chief of Medicine at Rhode Island Hospital and a Professor of Medical Science at Brown University where he helped develop the Brown University Medical School. He was the first Chief Administrative Officer of the Board of Medical Licensure & Discipline for

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Admiral William S. Sims

Admiral William Sowden Sims, 1858-1936, was two-time President of the U.S. Naval War College in Newport (1917, 1919-1922) who served as Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Naval Forces in Europe during World War I. He was instrumental in bringing about drastic changes in gunnery training, and the handling of military personnel and military education.

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Frank B. Lanning

Frank Lanning was born in 1906 at Penns Grove, New Jersey but when his father took a job as a cartoonist with the Providence Journal the family moved to Rhode Island. During his family’s stay in Rhode Island, Frank attended Cranston High School and worked part-time at the Providence Journal – a harbinger of things

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Judge Luigi DePasquale

Judge Luigi DePasquale 1892-1958, exemplifies the rapid political, social, and economic rise of Rhode Island’s first generation Italian-Americans. Born on December 13, 1892 in Providence to Italian immigrant parents, Antonio and Maria (Vitale) DePasquale, Luigi was raised in Milford, Massachusetts, where his father became an undertaker. He graduated from Boston University Law School in 1913

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Ronald A. Leonard

Mr. Leonard, formerly of Providenc,e before relocating to California, was for more than 40 years an internationally renowned musician and teacher of music.  He was Principle Cellist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and professor of Cello at the University of Southern California.  He previously performed with both the Cleveland Orchestra and Rochester Philharmonic, and

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Dr. Alex M. Burgess

Dr. Alex Burgess was the Director of Medical Education at Miriam Hospital. He has been considered the dean of Rhode Island’s medical community. He was known as a specialist in internal medicine, and gained fame as a diagnostician.  

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Michael “Mike” Barrowman

Michael Barrowman: gold medalist in the 200-meter breaststroke in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games avenging a fourth-place finish in that event as the favorite in the Seoul Olympics of 1988.  Mike held the world record in that breastroke event and was named American and World Swimmer of the Year in 1989 and 1990 by Swimming

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Mark Antony DeWolfe Howe

Mark Antony Dewolfe Howe, 1864-1960, was born on August 23, 1864 into one of Bristol’s leading families. Mark was his father’s seventeenth of eighteen children by three wives. After his prolific father and namesake became Episcopal bishop of central Pennsylvania, Mark enrolled at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where his father was chairman of the

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Dr. Renato E. Leonelli

Dr. Leonelli, formerly of Providence, advanced the education of RI youth through his 39 year tenure as Professor of Physical Science and Science Education at Rhode Island College, as well as through a weekly, live, local television program entitled ‘Small Fry Science’.  He also served on the Boards of numerous civic and cultural organizations and

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Ruth Buzzi

Ruth Buzzi was born on July 24, 1936 in Westerly, Rhode Island to Rena Pauline and Angelo Peter Buzzi, the latter a renowned stone sculptor associated with Westerly famed granite industry. Her father owned Buzzi Memorials. Known for her comedy routines on the 1960s variety show Rowan & Martin Laugh In (1967), Ruth Buzzi studied

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Archibald “Archie” Hahn

Archibald (“Archie “) Hahn won gold medals in the 60-meter, 100-meter, and 200-meter dashes in the 1904 St. Louis Games and gold in the 100-meter dash in the 1906 interim Olympics at Athens.  Hahn tied the world record of 9.8 in the 100-yard dash (1901) and set a world record of 21.8 seconds in the

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Wilfred I. Duphiney

Wilfred I. Duphiney, 1884-1960, Rhode Island’s most prolific and most viewed portraitist of the Twentieth Century, was born in the mill village Central Falls in 1884. His public school education led to his enrollment in the Rhode Island School of Design where he eventually graduated to the faculty and taught at this prestigious art school

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Frank Licht

Mr. Licht, formerly of Providence, was Governor of the State of Rhode Island from 1969 to 1973, and served as an Associate Justice of the Superior Court from 1956 to 1968.  He was also a member of the State Senate for seven years, and was the only Rhode Island Governor to serve in all three

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John H. Chafee

John H. Chafee,1922-1999, was a Providence native who entered government service as Secretary of the Navy. Then, in 1963, when he was forty years old, he took office as Governor of Rhode Island. He was one of the youngest men to become Governor in Rhode Island’s history. He had also served in the Rhode Island

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Dr. David Connolly Hall

Dr. David Connolly Hall was the bronze medalist in the 800-meter run at the 1900 Paris Olympics. Dr. Hall, a native of Quebec and a student at Brown University (Class of 1901), became Rhode Island’s first Olympic medalist. In a trail heat at Paris, he established the long-time Olympic record in the 800-meters of 1:56.2

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Mark Antony DeWolfe Howe

Mark Antony DeWolfe Howe (1864-1960), a Bristolian and son of Bishop Mark Antony De Wolfe Howe, was a prolific author, poet and editor who won a Pulitzer Prize in biography. As a Boston resident, he became known as “the dean of Boston’s literary world.” He served as associate editor of the Youth’s Companion from 1888

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Helen Adelia Rowe Metcalf

Metcalf, Helen Adelia Rowe, — -1895. Ms. Rowe Metcalf, formerly of Providence, was leader in the drive to establish the Rhode Island School of Design and devoted most of her time from 1878 to her death in 1895 to directing the School. Her influence and administrative skills enabled RISD to be founded with the goals

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Rev. Vincent C. Dore

Rev. Vincent C. Dore was born in New Haven, Connecticut on January 31, 1900, the oldest of eight children born to John and Catherine (McMahon) Dore. He attended parochial school during his grammar school years but attended public high school until his senior year when he attended Aquinas College High School and then entered the

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Lynne Jewell (Shore)

Lynne Jewell (Shore) won a gold medal in yachting at the Seoul Games in the 470 class.  Lynne’s yachting career spans two coasts. She grew up in California, summered with her grandparents in Plymouth, Massachusetts, starred in sailing as a student at Boston University (Class of 1981), and came to live in Rhode Island in

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U.S. Rep. Ambrose Kennedy

U.S. Rep. Ambrose Kennedy, 1875-1967, Congressman Ambrose Kennedy was a rarity in early twentieth century Rhode Island politics–a devout Irish Catholic Republican politician of high standing. Kennedy was not only a five-term Republican congressman, he was a lawyer, an educator, an accomplished orator, speaker of the Rhode Island House, and a biographer. Ambrose Kennedy, a

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Arlene Violet

Ms. Violet of Barrington was the first woman in the United Stated to be elected to State Attorney General, as well as a popular radio talk-show host.  She was a practicing attorney and former Roman Catholic nun.  She was RI’s Attorney General in the mid 1980’s, and is widely recognized for her community service and

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Governor & Senator Theodore Francis Green

Long-time senator, Theodore Francis Green bequeathed a lasting legacy of reform and economic growth to the state. Born in 1867 in Providence to an old Brahmin family, which counted among its lineage Rhode Island’s first governor under the Royal Charter of 1663, Benedict Arnold, and Revolutionary War general Nathanial Greene, Theodore Francis Green attended schools

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Helen Johns (Carroll)

Helen Johns (Carroll) was a gold medalist in the women’s 400-meter freestyle swim relay in 1932 at the Los Angeles Games in a world record time of 4:38. Helen is shown here (at left) with Albina Osipowich, who became a member of the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame at its 1968 Olympic induction for

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Alexander Meiklejohn

Alexander Meiklejohn, 1872-1964, Alexander Meiklejohn was a most unusual man, a dissenter in the mode of Roger Williams! He came to Rhode Island in 1880, when he was eight years old, the youngest son of a Scottish working class family. After a brief stay in Warwick, Alexander moved with his family to Pawtucket where he

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Dr. Hubert A. McGuirl

Dr. Hubert McGuirl, 1908-1977, was a Providence native who was the only Rhode Islander to serve as national President of the American Dental Association. He organized the New England Council on Insurance, and later the New England Council on Dental Health and Care. As a consultant to the U.S. Public Health Service, Division of Manpower

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Kathryn “Katie” King

Katie King-Crowley was a member of the gold medal winning women’s ice hockey team at the 1998 Nagano, Japan Games, and silver medalist as a member of the United States women’s hockey team in 2002 at Salt Lake City.  Although a New Hampshire resident, Katie competed for Brown University (Class of 1997) and is the

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John Red Pollard

John “Red” Pollard, 1909-1981: Although he was the grandson of Irish immigrants, John “Red” Pollard was born into affluence. Unfortunately a flood in 1915 devastated the family business–a brickyard–and left the six-year old impoverished. As a teenager, he decided to become a professional jockey. Though considered too tall at a “towering” 5 feet, 6 inches,

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Rev. William Blackstone

William Blackstone (1595–1675) was born in Whickham, Durham, England, the son and namesake of a wealthy landowner and poultryman whose surname was also spelled “Blaxton” or “Blackston.” Young William earned his AB and MA from Emmanuel College of Cambridge University in 1617 and 1621, respectively, and he then became an ordained clergyman of the Anglican

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De Ormand “Tuss” McLaughry

Tuss McLaughry, 1893-1974, was the famed coach of Brown University’s “Iron Man” team of 1926. “Tuss” coached at Amherst for thirty-five years, then at Brown, and Dartmouth. He was President of the American Football Coaches Association, and the long-time Secretary of that organization. The Tuss McLaughry Award is given to a distinguished American (or Americans)

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Harriet “Holly” Metcalf

Harriet M. “Holly” Metcalf won a gold medal in rowing in the eight-oars with coxswain at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. Holly, a Rhode Island native, attended Mt. Holyoke College and holds an advanced degree from Harvard University. She has been involved with rowing for three decades. Holly was a six-time national Olympic team

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George R. “Birdie” Tebbets

George R. “Birdie” Tebbetts, 1912″1999: Raised in New Hampshire, “Birdie” Tebbetts was a precocious, intelligent, and athletic youngster who served as the team mascot for the “Nashua Millionaires,” an independent semi-professional team owned by the future New Hampshire Governor, Francis Parnell Murphy. Murphy encouraged young Tebbetts to aim high. Tebbetts did just that, becoming an

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Dr. Patrick T. Conley

Dr. Patrick Thomas “Pat” Conley of Bristol is universally considered as Rhode Island’s most prolific historian and leading disseminator of historical of knowledge concerning the state’s heritage., earning distinction through his pursuit of several different careers as an educator, author, attorney, civic leader, government official, and real estate developer as well as historian. He has

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Louis A. R. Pieri

Louis Pieri, 1897-1967, was the owner of the Rhode Island Reds Hockey club, and one of the organizers of the Basketball Association of America. He served the state on many occasions as a supporter in fund-raising campaigns. The American Hockey League presents the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award annually to its outstanding coach.

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James Pedro

James Pedro is a former collegiate wrestler and retired world champion and Olympic medalist in the sport of judo.  He continues his involvement  in the sport as a noted coach. Pedro was born on October 30, 1970 in Danvers, Massachusetts where he attended St. John’s Preparatory High School prior to enrolling at Brown University.  At

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Gertrude I. Johnson

Gertrude I. Johnson, 1876-1961, and Mary Tiffany Wales, 1874-1952, founding mothers of Johnson & Wales University. Mary Tiffany Wales was born in Wilmington, Delaware in 1874 and graduated from the Pennsylvania State Normal School at Millersville in 1893. Following graduation, Mary taught school, first in Pennsylvania and later in Massachusetts. In 1911 she moved to

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Thomas F. Gilbane

Humble origins have been the hallmark of many American and Rhode Island success stories. Not many can match the saga of the Gilbane Brothers and the establishment of the multinational Gilbane Building Company. The Irish potato famine of the1840’s sent myriads of Hibernian refugees to North America. And so it was with Thomas and Bridget

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Archibald & Ida Silverman

Archibald Silverman , 1880-1967, was a Providence jewelry manufacturer, and civic leader for many years; his wife, Ida Silverman was a crusader for the establishment of the State of Israel and played an important role in fund-raising for Rhode Island hospitals. The Silvermans aided in building nearly one hundred synagogues throughout the world. Archibald Silverman

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Frederick D. “Fritz” Pollard Jr.

Frederick D. “Fritz” Pollard Jr. won a bronze medal in the 110-meter high hurdles in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Pollard equaled the world record for the 45-yard high hurdles while running for Brown University in the spring of 1934. At Senn High School in Springfield, Massachusetts he had been national interscholastic champion in both the

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Mary T. Wales

Gertrude I. Johnson, 1876-1961, and Mary Tiffany Wales, 1874-1952, founding mothers of Johnson & Wales University. Mary Tiffany Wales was born in Wilmington, Delaware in 1874 and graduated from the Pennsylvania State Normal School at Millersville in 1893. Following graduation, Mary taught school, first in Pennsylvania and later in Massachusetts. In 1911 she moved to

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George Katz

The late George Katz, formerly of East Providence, became the first Executive Director of the Big Brothers of Rhode Island, and served as Director of Development for Big Brothers of America for ten years.He traveled extensively throughout the U.S., establishing Big Brother agencies. He worked as a Community Relations Director and fund-raiser for Miriam Hospital,

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Judah Touro

Judah Touro, 1775-1854, was a Newport philanthropist who made many contributions to his native city, many of them after he became a citizen of New Orleans. He played a major role in the erection of Bunker Hill Monument with considerable financial aide. Mr. Touro gifted Touro Park to the city of Newport and died in

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R. Scott Steele

R. Scott Steele: silver medal in yachting–board sailing–in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.  Scott was born in Newport in 1958 to a Navy family and now resides in Maryland.  Steele, who left Rhode Island at the age of three, began his sailboarding career at St. Mary’s College in Maryland and made the All-American Sailing

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Judge Frank Caprio

Providence Municipal court judge with a national cable TV audience, attorney, teacher, entrepreneur, and member of the Rhode Island Wrestling Hall of Fame. Inducted by Cindy Laughlin (Director)

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John E. “Jack” Martin

The late John E. “Jack” Martin, formerly of Cranston, was a longtime schoolboy sports editor of the Journal-Bulletin. He was often referred to as “the father of Interscholastic Leagues in Rhode Island”, and is credited with the establishment of the Schoolboy Injury Fund and the Journal-Bulletin honor-roll for athletes. He served as Executive Secretary of

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Dr. Albert L. Midgely

Dr. Albert Leonard Midgely graduated from Classical High School in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1897. After attending Providence’s Brown University from 1897 to 1898, he graduated with honors from the Harvard Dental School in 1901. Because of his expertise, he soon became a pioneer in dental education as well as a prominent oral surgeon. Recognizing the

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John Treacy

John Treacy: silver medal in the marathon in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. A native of Ireland, Treacy came to Providence College as one of the first of a long line of Irish distance runners enticed to PC by track coach Bob Amato and soccer coach Bill Doyle, who was himself Irish born. Treacy

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Col. Lester W. Cory

Tiverton-born professor of electrical and computer engineering at UMass Dartmouth, R.I. National Guard communications commander, and leader in SHARE, an international organization that provides innovative equipment for people with disabilities. Inducted by General James J. D”Agostino (Director)

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Rev. Dr. Robert C. Newbold

The late Reverend Robert C. Newbold, 1920-2008, of Providence was a former Professor, Dean, Vice-Rector and Rector of Our Lady of Providence Preparatory Seminary and was former Executive Secretary of the Committee on Athletics for the Rhode Island Secondary School’s Principals association, retiring after 26 years in the profession. He guided the State’s Interscholastic League

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Congressman Aime Joseph Forand

Aime Joseph Forand was born on May 23, 1895 in Fall River, Massachusetts to Francois Xavier and MeliLuce Ruest Forand. Forand studied at public and Catholic schools in the state, and also attended the Magnus Commercial School in Providence, and Columbia University in New York. At the age of twenty- three, he enlisted in the

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Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci, Jr.

The late Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci of Providence was a popular six-term mayor of Providence brought the capital city nationwide recognition as a Renaissance City. An outspoken champion of the all-encompassing revitalization of downton Providence, he received widespread credit for his support of the arts, urban revitalization, public safety, educational, employment and housing needs.

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Richard I. Gouse

President of the New England Institute of Technology since 1971 and the longest serving college president in America. Under his guidance NEIT has grown from 70 students and 4 programs to over 3,000 students and 60 programs. Inducted by Albert R. Beauparlant (HOF Vice President)

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James J. Taracanti

James J. Taricani of North Kingstown, is the WJAR-TV (Channel 10), WPRI-TV (Channel 12), and local radio multi-award winning investigative reporter who became Director of Communications for RI Governor Lincoln Almond. He earned four coveted, regional Emmy Awards, television’s highest honor, and ten Emmy nominations, in addition to several other prestigious journalism awards for outstanding

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Raymond F. Farrell

A native of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Raymond Farrell was born on February 6, 1903 to James and Jennie (Moran) Farrell. After he graduated from Pawtucket High School he entered Georgetown University and later its La School in Washington, D.C., where he graduated in 1931. He subsequently served as a federal investigator in a variety of

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Joseph K. Angell

Angell, Joseph K. (Joseph Kinnicut), 1794-1857 Joseph K. Angell (1794-1857) of Providence was one of America’s foremost legal scholars of his era.  Most of his many legal treatises dealt with changes in the law occasioned by the transformation of the American economy from a commercial to an industrial base, and he was the nation’s leading

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Dr.John B. Hattendorf

Internationally-prominent historian of maritime history, distinguished professor emeritus at the U.S. Naval War College and the author or editor of dozens of books and essays on naval and maritime history. Inducted by Dr. John J. Parrillo (Director)

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Vincent E. Cullen

Vincent E. Cullen, a native of Cranston, became a highly successful Director of Athletics and basketball coach for 29 years at Community College of Rhode Island and organizer of school’s first basketball team. Vin Cullen served as its’ first and only top athletic administrator whose teams won more than 500 games, a record for collegiate

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Gov. Dennis J. Roberts

Dennis J. Roberts, 1903-1994, served as Rhode Island’s Governor for four terms from 1951 to 1959. This following a long stint as Mayor of the City of Providence for ten years, from 1941 to 1951. He also served an additional four years as a Rhode Island State Senator.

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Henry Barnard

Henry Barnard (1811-1900) was born in Hartford, Connecticut.  He graduated from Yale in 1830, taught school for a year in Pennsylvania, then returned to Connecticut to study law.  Although he gained admission to the bar in 1834, he never practiced.  After a sojourn in Europe, Barnard was elected as a Whig to the Connecticut legislature

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Sister Mary Reilly

A religious Sister of Mercy who taught in several Rhode Island schools, served as a missionary in Central America, and helped to establish such important local social agencies as McAuley House, Dorcas Place, and Sophia Academy. Inducted by Arlene Violet, Esq. (1996 Inductee)

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Dr. Eric Denoff

The late Dr. Eric Denhoff, 1913-1982, a native of Providence and co-founder of the famed Meeting Street School for children with disabilities and developmental delays. He volunteered his services as Meeting Street’s medical director for 35 years, until his death in 1982.He was internationally recognized as a pioneer in the early detection of and treatment

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Jean Madeira

Jean (Browning) Madeira, 1918-1972, sang as contralto diva of the Metropolitan Opera. She gained world renown for her performances in the role of Carmen and starred in the Munich, Salzburg, and Bayreath Festivals. She sang leading roles at LaScala, San Carlo, Vienna, Convent Garden, the Stockholm and Paris Operas, and was sensational as Delilah at

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Arnold Buffum

Arnold Buffum  was one of Rhode Island’s leading abolitionists.  He was born and raised in a farmhouse near Union Village in present-day North Smithfield. His childhood home, called the William Buffum House for his Quaker father who built it, still stands at 383 Great Road. Despite his rural roots, Arnold Buffum became an entrepreneur whose

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Charles “Chuck” M. Royce

A graduate of Brown University who became a highly successful Wall Street investor. He rehabilitated the Ocean House, the Weekapaug Inn, and many other major landmarks in his adopted town of Westerly. Inducted by Dr. D. Scott Molloy (2009 Inductee)

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Chief Judge Edward P. Gallogly

Edward Peter Gallogly enjoyed a career that saw him occupy many seats onthe public stage. He is one of the few Rhode Island citizens who served inall three branches of state government as well as an arm of the Federalgovernment. Gallogly was born in Providence on August 28, 1919 one of nine children ofLawrence and

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Francis Madeira

Julliard-trained conductor Francis Madeira founded the Rhode Island Philharmonic in 1945 and led it for thirty-three (33) years. Madeira moved to Providence in 1943 to serve as interim director of orchestras at Brown University. Upon discovering that Rhode Island lacked a professional orchestra, he proceeded to round up thirty-one (31) musicians and organized a chamber

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Prudence Crandall

Prudence Crandall  was born in Hopkinton, Rhode Island, the daughter of Pardon Crandall, a Quaker farmer and Esther Carpenter, both of whom were descended from prominent old-line South County families.  When Prudence was ten she moved to a farm in nearby Canterbury, Connecticut, but returned to Rhode Island from 1825 to 1830 as a student

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Dr.Stephen P. Salloway

Director of Neurology and the Memory and Aging Program at Butler Hospital and Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Brown Medical School. He is one of the nation”s leaders in Alzheimer”s prevention research, and has written extensively on this topic. Inducted by Dr. Roberta Feather (Director)

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Adrian Hall

Adrian Hall, a native of Texas who made his home in Providence, was the renowned former Artistic Director of Trinity Repertory Company, one of the country’s most recognized resident theaters. He is credited with the development of the internationally acclaimed theater group into a national model for resident theaters. His vision was principle to the

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Joseph Mullaney

Joseph Mullaney was born on Long Island, New York on November 17, 1925. After graduating from Chaminade High School in Mineola and service in the US Air Force he attended the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts where he played basketball with the legendary Bob Cousy. In 1947 he was co-captain of the

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Reverend James Fitton

Fitton, James, 1805-1881 Reverend James Fitton was one of New England’s foremost Catholic missionary priests.  The energetic and seemingly ubiquitous Fitton was a driving force in the development of Rhode Island Catholicism establishing twenty widely-scattered parishes and serving in every major area of early Irish settlement including Newport, Providence, Pawtucket, Woonsocket, and the Pawtuxet Valley.

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Neil D. Steinberg

President and chief executive officer of the billion dollar Rhode Island Foundation, former Brown University vice president for development and former chairman and CEO of Fleet Bank of Rhode Island. As a community leader, he is repeatedly named one of the ten most influential people in Rhode Island. Inducted by Dr. Patrick T. Conley (1995

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Elizabeth ” Lizzie” Murphy

The late Elizabeth “Lizzie” Murphy, 1894-1964, a native of Warren, was an outstanding athlete who was the first woman ever to play in Major League Baseball competition, and who starred for more than thirty years for otherwise all-male professional, semi-professional, and amateur baseball teams throughout New England and other Eastern states. She has been cited

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Dr. Americo A. Savastano

Americo A. “Savy” Savastano, M.D. (1906-1987), one of the world’s most renowned surgeons, served as Chief of Orthopedic Surgery at Rhode Island Hospital. Born in Orchi, Italy on November 28, 1906 to Carmine and Luigia (Vendettuoli) Savastano, Americo and his family moved to Rhode Island when he was nine years old. He graduated from the

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John Holden Greene

  Greene, John Holden, 1777-1850 John Holden Greene was a carpenter-architect who moved from his native Warwick to Providence in 1794 and designed his first major Providence structure, the Sullivan Dorr House, in 1809.  Embracing the Neo-classical style known as Federal architecture, many of his homes were distinguished by roof and portico balustrading.  Greene designed

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Dr.Rose E. Weaver

Rose from humble birth to become an accomplished singer and actress with Trinity Theater and in Hollywood, talk show hostess, a leader on the local arts scene, a social justice reformer, and the 2019 Rhode Island Woman of the Year. Inducted by Robert I. Burke (Director)

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George J. Peters

The late George J. Peters, 1924-1945, a native of Cranston, was one of only three Rhode Islanders to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for gallantry in action during World War II. The young U.S. Army Infantryman parachuted across the Rhine River and sacrificed his life while single-handedly destroying a German machine-gun nest to save

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T. Dawson Brown

T. Dawson Brown was former President and Chairman of the Board at the Industrial National Bank. One of the states most active leaders in promoting brotherhood, the betterment of youth, and civic renewal. He served for many years as President of the Narragansett Council of Boy Scouts. He was also one of the pioneers in

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Bishop Alexander Viets Griswold

  Griswold, Alexander V. (Alexander Viets), 1766-1843 Bishop Alexander Viets Griswold (1766-1843) was one of the most prominent American churchmen of the early nineteenth century. He was born in Simsbury, Connecticut, the son of Elisha Griswold and Eunice Viets who were farmers. As a young boy he came under the influence of his uncle Roger

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Barbara-Jeanne “BJ” Seabury

Barbara-Jeanne Seabury, 1927-2002, a native of Cranston and resident of Wakefield, was the Director of Rhode Island Hospital’s Child Life Department from 1976 to her retirement in 1993. She was a nationally recognized pioneer in the revolutionizing of child care in the hospital environment, and a very active member of the steering committee for Hasbro

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Charles DeWolf Brownell

 Charles DeWolf Brownell was born in Providence in 1822 to parents from old-line Rhode Island families. When Brownell was two-years-old, the family moved to East Hartford where Charles was raised and grew to manhood. In 1843, he became an attorney and lived in a house directly opposite Connecticut’s famed Charter Oak.   He later rendered a well-known painting

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Seth Luther

  Luther, Seth, 1795-1863 Seth Luther was the most memorable figure in the pioneering days of the Rhode Island labor movement.  When he died in 1863, a Providence Journal obituary said that the “had considerable talent for both writing and speaking, but he was too violent, willful and headstrong to accomplish any good.” The editors

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Dr. T. Steven Tegu

Dr. T. Steven Tegu, a native of Greece who has lived in Providence and been a longtime professor of languages at Rhode Island College. He is a former finalist for the prestigious Jefferson Award, given annually for public service benefiting local communities. He was a former President of the International Institute of Providence, and recipient

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Joanne Carner

Joanne Carner was a five time national women’s amateur golf champion, and won the Rhode Island title three times, as well as the New England and Eastern championships. She also won a professional-amateur tournament that included most of the top women professionals in the field. She is thought to be the best female golfer in

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Senator William Sprague Jr.

Senator William Sprague, Jr. (1799-1856) was one of the most prominent members of a family that ranked as one of Rhode Island’s richest and most powerful during the first three-quarters of the nineteenth century.   He was the son and namesake of William Sprague, founder of the great textile empire, the younger brother of Amasa, whose

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Vice Admiral John T. Hayward

Hayward, John T., 1908-1999 Vice Admiral Hayward of Newport served 70 years in the U.S. Navy before retiring in 1995. As a World War II naval aviator, he helped develop one of the two atomic bombs that was dropped on Japan in the closing days of the war. Later, he was a pioneer in the

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Van Johnson

Van Johnson, 1916-2008, a native of Newport and graduate of Rogers High School tried selling real estate for his dad, but after a year he departed for New York, where he eventually landed a part in a Broadway musical. After his role in “Pal Joey”, he was signed to a Hollywood contract by an MGM

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Harriet Ware

Harriet Ware, 1799-1849, a 19th-century reformer of strong religious convictions, founded the Providence Children’s Friend Society, an organization still operating over 100 years later to serve impoverished Rhode Islanders. Upon her arrival in Hopkinton, RI, she shocked to see overcrowded and dilapidated homes, overflowing with unwanted, malnourished, filthy, shoeless children, many of whom worked 14-hour

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Major John T. Godfrey

>b>Major John T. Godfrey, USAF, a Candian native raised in Woonsocket, was a highly decorated and widely recognized World War II flying ace credited with shooting down or destroying on the ground, 36 German planes. He later became prominent in public affairs as a State Senator. He also operated a successful Lace manufacturing business in

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Dr. Joseph H. Ladd

Dr. Joseph Ladd was first superintendent of the Exeter School for the Mentally Handicapped, of which he was superintendent for more than fifty years, until his retirement in 1956. He gained a national reputation in the field of intellectual disabilities for his vision and improved methods of care.

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Russell Warren

Russell Warren, 1783-1860, was a Tiverton-born carpenter who became one of Rhode Island’s leading architects. The first phase of his career (1800-1823) was marked by residence in Bristol where he designed mansions for that town’s prosperous merchants. His move to Providence in 1826 allowed him to design (with James C. Bucklin) such important structures as

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Chris Schenckel

Chris Schenkel, 1923-2005, was Sports Director for the American Broadcast Corporation. He got his real start in sportscasting in Rhode Island after World War II, working at WFCI and WEAN. He did local radio and called the Thoroughbred horse races at Narragansett Park for six years. His work here was recognized by the Columbia Broadcasting

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John Whipple

John Whipple (1784-1866) of Providence was a leader of the early 19th century Rhode Island Bar, the state’s foremost trial attorney, and Rhode Island’s most prominent constitutional lawyer. Daniel Webster,Whipple’s co-counsel in the landmark Rhode Island case of Luther v. Borden (1849) regarded Whipple and Jeremiah Mason of New Hampshire as the two most formidable

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James Lou Gorman

James Lou Gorman, 1929-2011, a native of Providence, was a highly respected major League Baseball executive, and Senior Vice President and General Manger of the Boston Red Sox who was honored with two Major League Baseball “Executive of the Year” awards, and was a former standout athlete at LaSalle Academy in Rhode Island and Stonehill

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Mr. & Mrs. Austin T. Levy

Austin Levy was a successful textile manufacturer, and his gracious wife, June (Rockwell) Levy, was known as the “First Lady of Burrillville” Their philanthropic interest played a major role in the development of their town. Through their gifts the town gained its’ Town Hall, the Harrisville Assembly Theater Building, a library, a post office, the

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Joseph Banigan

Joseph Banigan (1839-1898) and his parents were part of a wave of Irish Catholic refugees who fled the Potato Famine in Ireland. Arriving in Rhode Island in 1847, he attended school for one year before becoming a full-time worker at age nine. Over the next fifty years he employed the “pluck and luck” characteristics of

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Joseph Lilley

Joseph J. Lilley, 1913-1971, a native of Providence, was the Musical Director for the famed Paramount Studios who later worked on some of Hollywood’s greatest musical films including “White Christmas,” “Paint your Wagon,” and “Anything Goes.” During a career which spanned the era of big bands, radio, and movies, while working for both CBS and

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Dr. Mary T. Thorp

Dr. Mary Thorp was an educator, lecturer, and author, and became a First Distinguished Professor at Rhode Island College. She began her teaching career in Hopkington, then taught in Westerly, and served as Principal in Jamestown. A former director of Henry Barnard School and President of the Rhode Island Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease Association. She

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Governor Augustus Osborn Bourn

Governor Augustus O. Bourn (1834-1925) was born in Providence in 1834 to a distinguished old-line Rhode Island family whose earliest ancestor Jared Bourn served as a Portsmouth representative to the colonial assembly in 1654-55. After graduation from Brown University in 1855, Bourn joined his father in the business of manufacturing India-rubber goods. In 1864, Bourn

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Dr. Robert J. McKenna

Dr. Robert J. McKenna, 1931-2012, a native of Providence, was Mayor of the City of Newport, as well as having been a Professor of Politics and Assistant to the President of Salve Regina University. He engaged in more than three decades of public service as both a State Senator and Representative, aide to the late

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William LeBaron “Billy” Beck

William Beck, a member of the 1952 Winter Olympic Team, placed fifth in the Alpine skiing event. He also competed in the 1956 Winter Games at Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy. Beck was prominent in the international ski circuit in the 1950’s and is regarded as Rhode Island’s greatest all-time skier. In 1958, he was named coach

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Sarah Elizabeth Doyle

Doyle, Sarah Elizabeth, 1830-1922 Sarah Elizabeth Doyle (1830-1922) was a lifelong resident of Rhode Island who participated in the social reform ferment that engulfed the state during the Gilded Age. Despite the conservative political nature of local thinking, she successfully pioneered educational opportunities for women at the highest level. She entered Providence High School during

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Frederick M. McKinnon

The late Frederick M. McKinnon, a native of Pawtucket, was considered the father of youth soccer in Rhode Island. He was an elementary school teacher in the Pawtucket School System for thirty years, and Acting Director and Supervisor of the Pawtucket Recreation Department for 34 years. He is widely recognized for his contributions to youth

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Robert H. “Bob” Bennett

Robert “Bob” Bennett was born in Providence on August 8, 1919 to George E. and Margaret T. (Martin) Bennett; however, he grew up in Cranston and graduated from Cranston High School in 1937. Always involved in sports, Bob was an all-state football and track star at Cranston High School. He studied at the University of

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Charles E. Gorman

Gorman, Charles Edmund, 1844-1917 Charles E. Gorman was Rhode Island’s foremost constitutional reformer of the late 19th century. He was born in Boston in 1844 to an Irish immigrant father for whom he was named and a Yankee mother, Sarah Woodbury, who traced her Massachusetts ancestry to the Cape Ann colony of the early 1620s.

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Dr. Mary C. Mulvey

Dr. Mary C. Mulvey, a nationally recognized expert in the problems of the elderly and concerns of gerontology who now makes Rhode Island her home, has been a pioneer advocate for older adults and successful in enacting legislation to establish a State Agency on Aging. She served as its’ administrator until returning to the Providence

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E. Doris Brennan (Weir)

E. Doris Brennen (Weir), a Providence native, held twenty national and world records in swimming during the late 1930’s and 1940’s. She was named to the U.S. Olympic Team in 1940, but the Games, scheduled in Finland, were cancelled due to the outbreak of World War II. She is a chartered member of the Rhode

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Dr. William W. Keen

Keen, William W. (William Williams), 1837-1932 Dr. William W. Keen (1837-1932) of Swedish and Dutch extraction, was a man of stern principles and unwavering convictions and a diligent worker in the Calvinist tradition. He was born on the last day of Andrew Jackson’s tenure as president; and he died in the waning months of Herbert

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Harry Pezzullo

Harry Pezzullo, 1912-2015, a native of Barrington, was a highly respected golf professional for 57 years. He played on the PGA Tour, and became Golf Director at the prestigious JDM Country Club in West Palm Beach, FL. He was named “Golf Professional of the Year” in 1958, and served as Vice President of the PGA

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Ellison M. “Tarzan” Brown

Tarzan Brown, a Native American from the Narragansett tribe, came from the south county village of Alton. He became a world-class marathoner in the 1930’s. After a disappointing performance in the 1936 Olympics, Brown entered seven marathon races in close succession and won them all. Two of these races were won within twenty-four hours of

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Idawally “Ida” Lewis

Lewis, Ida, 1842-1911 Idawalley “Ida” Lewis  is considered the most famous person ever to serve in the U.S. Lighthouse Service, an agency that evolved into the U. S. Coast Guard.  She was born in Newport on February 25, 1842.  When she was eleven years old, her father Hosea was appointed keeper of the Lime Rock

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Vice Admiral Thomas R. Weschler

Admiral Thomas R. Weschler, USN, a native of Erie, PA, and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, was highly decorated as a veteran of World War II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He retired in 1975 after 34 years of duty, and later served as the Director of the Center for Continuing Education. He

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John Collier

John Collier, 1907-1984, was a bronze medalist in the 110-meter high-hurdles in the 1928 Amsterdam Games. He was a Providence resident and the son of noted Brown University historian Theodore Collier. This Phi Beta Kappa student was the long-time Brown University record holder in the hurdles events, and the national collegiate champion in the high

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Charles I. D. Looff

Charles I.D. Looff (1852-1918) is considered the first of the great American carousel builders having created 17 of them during his long career–some of which was spent living and working in Riverside, Rhode Island. Charles I.D. Looff was born in the Danish province of Schleswig-Holstein in 1870, but by age 18 he was living in

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Vice Admiral Harold G. Bowen USN

The late Vice Admiral Harold G. Bowen, USN was Providence native and a graduate of the United States Naval Academy (class of 1905) and commissioned in 1907. He was a pioneer in research in the development of radar, jet propulsion rockets and numerous techniques which were directly under the supervision of the Secretary of the

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Paula Deubel -Phillips

Paula Deubel-Phillips, 1935-1993, was a member of the U.S. Women’s Track and Field Team as a shot putter in the 1956 Melbourne Games. Although a resident of Swansea, Massachusetts, she  trained with and competed for the Little Rhody AC, a local track club that pioneered women’s competition in track and field. In 1954, Paula Duebel,

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Henry M. Leland

Henry Leland approached his boss at Brown & Sharpe with a preposterous proposal: He planned to quit his job and move west to begin a business, and he wanted to take one of his best co-workers with him. To start his new business he would need to borrow $2,000, the current equivalent of $50,000; he

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Henry F. Dreyer

Henry Dreyer, 1911-1986, a Providence native who competed for URI, participated in the 1936 and 1948 Olympics, and was the only American to make both teams. Each time he placed ninth. Between 1934 and 1952, Dreyer held twenty-one national championships in the weight throws. Dreyer was an AAU hammer-throw champion four times, 56-pound weight titleholder

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Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan

Mahan, A. T. (Alfred Thayer), 1840-1914 Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840-1914), the best known and most influential naval officer of the late 19th century, ironically was born at West Point, the son of Dennis Hart Mahan, a professor of military engineering and dean of faculty at the U.S. Military Academy. Admiral Mahan was a

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Mary P. Brennan

Mary P. Brennan has been the Chief of Airport Marketing at T. F. Green State Airport. She also has been very active in public and service organizations, winning awards from the MDA and Leukemia Societies, the Papal Medal of the Cross, and Citizens and Person of the Year Awards.

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Ivan Fuqua

Ivan Fuqua, 1909-1994, a football and track star at Indiana University, won a gold medal at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, as part of the world record-setting 4×400-meter relay. In 1946 he came to Rhode Island to coach track at Brown University from 1947-1973 where guided the outdoor track team to five New England

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Theodore Barrows Stowell

Theodore Barrows Stowell (1847-1916), a prominent Rhode Island educator, served as president of Bryant & Stratton Commercial College (now Bryant University) for nearly four decades. A native of Connecticut and descended from one of New England’s earliest settlers, Stowell was drawn to the profession of teaching, and upon graduation from the Connecticut State Normal School,

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Bernard V. Buonanno Sr.

Bernard V. Buonanno was a graduate of Classical High School, teacher of French and Latin, Counselor, and, in 1936, returned to coach three sports, football, track, and basketball. He brought Classical championships in football and indoor track. He was a former member of the State Board of Regents and the Rhode Island Board of Education.

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Carole Garnett (Wheeler)

Carole Wheeler (Garnett) was a member of the U.S. women’s swim team who competed in the 1924 Paris Games. Later she coached swimming and diving. After the death of her first husband, an army colonel, in an auto crash, Carole married Henry S. Wheeler, a mayor of Newport. As Mrs. Wheeler, she became very active

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Reverend Mahlon Van Horne

Reverend Mahlon Van Horne (1840-1910) had a career that ranged from minister of the Gospel at the black Union Congregational Church at Newport to minister of diplomacy as United States Consul to St. Thomas in the West Indies. He was at heart always a teacher. Bom in Princeton New Jersey in 1840, Van Horne was

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Dr. Aram V. Chobanian

Dr. Aram V. Chobanianwas a Pawtucket born graduate of Brown University and Harvard Medical School. He was responsible for establishing and directing Boston University’s world renowned Cardiovascular Center. Internationally respected, he has been a Visiting Professor at the Italian Hypertension Society, the Danish hypertension Society, and Hong Kong University. He has authored two books and

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Robert Gaudreau

Robert Gaudreau, a member of the U.S. Hockey Team at the 1968 Olympics at Grenoble, France and a local schoolboy stand-out at Hope High School in Providence, where he made All-State. Later at Brown, he was selected twice to the All-American Hockey Team as a defenseman.

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John Montgomery Ward

John Montgomery “Monte” Ward, 1860-1925, a member of baseball’s Hall of Fame, was a native of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania who attended Pennsylvania State College before embarking upon a career as a professional ballplayer. He reached the major leagues in 1878 as a pitcher for the Providence Grays of the National League, just two years after the

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Howard P. Lovecraft

The late Mr. Howard P. Lovecraft was a great writer of supernatural fiction and a serious disciple of Poe. A sincere artist, original thinker, and outstanding American writer, he was published throughout the world and translated into more than a dozen languages. A uniquely Rhode Island figure with some of his work set in Providence,

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John Higgins

John Higgins, 1916-2004, was fourth place finisher in the 100-meter breaststroke at the 1936 Berlin Games. During his remarkable career, Higgins set world records and American records in the 100-meter and 200-meter butterfly breaststroke, the individual medley, and the medley relay. In these events he won eleven U.S. national championships. Later, he became swim coach

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Stanford White

Stanford White (1853-1906) found in Rhode Island the perfect social and natural setting for his artistic talents. In Stanford White, Rhode Island found the architectural genius that perfectly captured the spirit of its “Gilded Age”. While one without the other would have been noteworthy, the combination truly exemplified one of the greatest epochs in American

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Judge Francis J. Darigan Jr

Judge Frank Darigan was born on September 21, 1942 to a South Providence Irish-Catholic family. He never severed his roots. Of the many Hall of Fame inductees from Providence’s South Side, Frank’s nearly six decades of volunteer social service to his neighborhood is unmatched by any of these honorees. Darigan served as a judge of

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Gerald W. Kilmartin

Gerry Kilmartin, 1927-1970, won the silver medal at the 1952 Olympic Games as a member of the U.S. Hockey Team, which also included Brown University student athlete Donald F. Whiston. Previously he starred for LaSalle Academy winning All-State honors in hockey. Kilmartin was also a proficient Golden Gloves boxer.

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Alfred Mason Williams

Alfred Mason Williams (1840-1896), was born in Taunton, Massachusetts in 1840 and entered Brown University in 1856. Trouble with eyesight made him drop out after a couple of semesters. His eyesight did not keep him from volunteering in the 4th Massachusetts Regiment. He sent Civil War reports to his hometown paper and to Horace Greeley’s

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Maj. Gen. John M. McGreevy

Major General John M. McGreevy served the state as a National Guard Officer, Adjutant General, and Civil Defense Director. He was project engineer at Elmsdorf Airbase and Commander of the 176th Engineer Regiment. President Kennedy invited him to meet with the National Security Council, and he was appointed as Coordinator of Emergency Services during the

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Clara Lamore (Walker)

Clara Lamore (Walker) was a member of the U.S. Women’s swim team at the 1948 London Games where she was a finalist in the breaststroke. During the 1940’s Lamore set two U.S. swim records and won five national championships. After her Olympic disappointment, she gave up swimming until 1981. From that time onward she became

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M. Therese Antone RSM, Ed.D.

  Antone, M. Therese Therese Antone was born in Central Falls, the third of seven children raised by Florence Smith Antone and George Antone, a cobbler. After graduation from Cumberland High School, she earned a bachelor’s degree from Salve Regina University, a master’s from Villanova University, and a Doctor of Education degree from Harvard University.

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Nancy A. Potter

Ms. Nancy A. Potter was a Professor of English at URI for forty-two years, and was made Professor Emerita. She taught undergraduate and graduate courses in American and British literature, Poetry and Creative Writing, and directed 50 MA and PHD theses. She won Fulbright Senior Lecturer Grants in American Literature in Argentina, New Zealand, and

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Alvin Loftes

Alvin Loftes (born Alvin Hjalmar Lofstedt), 1890-1971, won a bronze medal in cycling in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics in the four-man team time trial. The 320-kilometer race, the first and the longest team time trial in Olympic history, was won by Sweden due, in part, to its home course advantage. Loftes also finished eleventh in

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Daniel E. Doyle

  Doyle, Daniel E., 1949- Daniel Doyle is a graduate of Bates College, where he was co-captain of the varsity basketball team, and of the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University. Dan holds two honorary doctoral degrees – one from Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts and the second from the University of

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Sherman A. Strickhouser

Mr. Sherman A. Strickhouser was a graduate of Brown University. A radio announcer while attending college, he produced several award winning television documentaries, and hired the first anchorwoman to work in Rhode Island television. One of the most popular talk-show hosts, he created the markets first all-talk radio station, and was the 1992 Honorary Chairperson

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Geffrey T. Mason

Geoffrey T. Mason, 1902-1987, earned gold as a member of the five-man bobsled team at the 1928 St. Moritz Winter Games the first year the five-man bobsled (the skeleton sled) was allowed. Born in Philadelphia and a graduate of Bowdoin Collge (class of 1923), Mason lived in Rhode Island for most of his life and

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Edward J. McElroy

Edward J. McElroy, a former social studies teacher in Warwick, rose through union ranks to become national president of the 1.3 million member American Federation of Teachers (AFL). Ed started his labor career in the 1960s lobbying for passage of the Michaelson Act, which provided Rhode Island educators with the right to collective bargaining. He

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Joseph Watmough Sr.

The late Joseph Watmough, Sr. spent forty-three years as the swimming coach at Olneyville Boys and Girls Club, Central High School, and Brown University. Three of his proteges were named to the U.S. Olympic Teams, and national and world records were broken under his tutelage.

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Janet Moreau (Stone)

Janet Moreau (Stone) is a gold medalist with her team in the 4×100-meter relay in the 1952 Helinski Games. Her team established a world record in the event of 45.9 Moreau was a national champion in the fifty-yard dash, the 220-yard dash, the standing long jump (five times), and the 4×100-yard relay. In 1948, the

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Barbara H. Roberts M.D.

Dr. Barbara Roberts, an eminent cardiologist with a private practice, is truly a legend in Rhode Island. She was the first woman to be accepted into the Gorlin cardiology fellowship program at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a Harvard University Medical School Teaching Hospital, and the first woman to practice adult cardiology in Rhode Island.

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Bernard E. Bell

Bernard E. Bell, a retired business executive who lead Hospice Care for Rhode Island. He received the “Man of the Year Award”, presented by Hospice America, and was very active in public and civic service. He served as Trustee of the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research, Director of the Rhode Island Children’s Friend and Service, and worked

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Albina Osipowich (Van Aken)

Albina Osipowich (Van Aken), 1911-1964, was the women’s swimming star of the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics. Albina, a member of the Pembroke swim team, won gold medals in the 100-meter freestyle in an Olympic record time of 1.11.0, and swam the third leg of the 4×100-meter freestyle relay that set a world record of 4:47.6. She

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Judge Bruce M. Selya

The story of Rhode Island’s own Bruce Selya is the story of success itself. The son of Herman and Betty Selya, Bruce was born in Providence on May 27, 1934. He distinguished himself as a star student at Classical High School (magna cum laude, 1951) and at Harvard College (magna cum laude, 1955). After graduating

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Gladys Williams Brayton

The late Gladys Brayton was a direct descendant of Roger Williams and a lifelong resident of Rhode Island. She became one of the State’s most prominent historians, teachers, and authors. She was a former curator of Cranston Historical Society, and an honorary member of the Warwick Historical Society. She was also a member of the

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Leslie Pawson

Les Pawson, 1905-1992, of Pawtucket was a world-class marathon runner of the 1930’s and 1940’s, and the chief local rival to the famed “Tarzan” Brown. Pawson had three victories in the Boston Marathon, including a record-breaking win in 1933, his first Boston triumph. He was named to the U.S. Olympic Team in 1940, but World

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Nancy Gewirtz Ph.D.

When Nancy Gewirtz died in 2004 after her courageous and graceful battle with cancer, she was widely and appropriately known by a title the Fund for Community Progress had aptly bestowed upon her in 1997–“A Voice for the Voiceless.” Indeed, Dr. Gewirtz’s entire life was marked by her tireless efforts on behalf of the poor,

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Alfred A. “Smokey” Cerrone

Alfred “Smokey” Cerrone was a highly successful businessman, athlete, musician, innovator, and public-minded citizen who developed one of the world’s largest automobile agencies. He was instrumental in numerous charitable fund-raising ventures including with the Lincoln-Cumberland Boys Club and St. Joseph’s Pine Harbor School for children with special needs. He has given his personal support to hundreds

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George Pulliam

George Pulliam, 1923-1956, is regarded by some as Rhode Island’s greatest all-around schoolboy athlete. At Cranston High, he won All-State honors twice in football and hockey and once in baseball, where he played at every position but catcher. For his extraordinary efforts he was nicknamed “The Cranston Crusher.” He was the fullback and star of

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Lloyd T. Griffin Jr.

Lloyd Griffin died on November 24, 1999, at the age of fifty nine. His memorial Mass on December 1 at Holy Rosary Church in his native Fox Point was well attended for an ordinary man; but Lloyd was not an ordinary man, and the church was far from over flowing. A few black community leaders

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Dr. Frances P. Conklin

Dr. Frances P. Conklin, a distinguished radiologist and long-time community leader who became the first woman President of the Providence Medical Society. She was the only woman member of the RI Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline, and named RI’s “Woman Physician of 1989” by the Rhode Island Medical Woman’s Association. She received the prestigious

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James F. Quinn

James F. Quinn, 1907-2004, was a gold medalist in the 400-meter relay in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics with a world record equaling time of 41.0. Later he broke the world record in the 60-yard dash. Quinn, a New York City native who starred at Holy Cross, became a permanent Rhode Island resident in the mid-1950s

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Frederick Lippitt

Born to a life of privilege, Fred Lippitt (1917-2005) decided it was a privilege to serve others. The Lippitt family was among the first settlers of Rhode Island. In 1638, John Lippitt arrived in Providence. An ancestor, Christopher Lippitt, commanded Rhode Island troops in the Revolution. The Lippitt name also dots Rhode Island’s landscape: one

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Maj. Gen. John W. Kiely

Major General John W. Kiely, a former Adjutant General of Rhode Island and Commanding General of the Rhode Island National Guard. He completed his forty-eight year of military service as a highly decorated World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War veteran whose awards include The Legion of Merit, the Purple Heart, and Bronze Star.

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Dudley Shaw Richards

Dudley Shaw Richards, 1932-1961, a nationally prominent figure-skater who competed in pairs with Maribel Y. Owen at the 1960 Winter Games at Squaw Valley, California, and finished tenth. They won the U.S. championships the following year and finished second at the North American Championships, earning the pair a berth on the World team. Richards, a

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James Allen

James Allen (1824-1897) a native of Barrington, became the pioneer American balloonist when he made the first of over 150 ascensions in 1856.  The “Zephyrus,” the first of his fifteen balloons, rose three-and-a-quarter miles over Providence from a vacant lot at the present site of City Hall. When the Civil War began, Allen and his

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Commander John A. McIntyre

Commander John A. McIntyre was a former U.S. Navy flying ace in World War II and the Korean War. He held distinctions that included the Silver Star, two distinguished Flying Crosses, and four Air Medals. He was a former three-sport star athlete for LaSalle Academy, and later an All-America football player at Notre Dame. A

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Aileen Riggin (Soule)

Aileen Riggin (Soule), 1906-2002, won the gold medal in the three-meter springboard diving competition in the 1924 Antwerp Games and finished fifth in the platform dive. The 14-year-old Riggin of Newport was 4’7″ tall and weighed only 65 pounds in 1920. At the Paris Olympics in 1924, Riggin won a silver medal in springboard diving

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William Binney

    Binney, William, 1825-1909 William Binney (1825-1909), was the son of Horace Binney, a trial lawyer of national acclaim who twice declined a seat on the United States Supreme Court.  His grandfather, Barnabas Binney, was a renowned surgeon, who served with distinction in the American Revolution.  William Binney was born in Philadelphia and obtained

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Michael Pappas

Michael Pappas was an Executive Vice President for the Pawtucket Boys & Girls Club, for which he served in various capacities for more than forty years. He was also a sportscaster for several RI radio stations, a prominent public relations advocate for many area sports events, and a public address announcer for professional hockey and

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William J. Rowe

William Rowe, 1914-1938, was a member of the U.S. Track and Field Team in the hammer-throw at the 1936 Berlin Games. He recorded a fifth place finish–the best performance by an American. Rowe, a Rhode Island native, also excelled in the discus throw and held the URI record (156′ 1 1/4″ in 1937) in that

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Chief Justice Charles Smith Bradley

  Bradley, C. S. (Charles Smith), 1819-1888 Charles Smith Bradley (1819-1888), was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts.  He graduated first in his class at Brown University in 1838, then obtained a master’s degree from Brown and, eventually, a law degree from Harvard.  He commenced the practice of law in Providence in 1841 and became known as

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Dr. Lucius A. Whipple

Dr. Lucius A. Whipple was former President of the Rhode Island College of Education for twelve years, and had a distinguished thirty-seven year career in the field of education, mostly associated with the training of students and teachers. He served for four years in the Rhode Island Department of Education and another four years as

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John Spellman

John Spellman, 1899-1966, won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling in the light heavyweight division (192 pounds) at the 1924 Paris Games. Spellman was a Brown University student-athlete and captain of the 1924 Brown Wrestling Team. John’s older brother Bob, and his younger brother, Frank, were also Brown captains and competed on New England championship

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Justice Walter Snow Burges

  Burges, Walter S. (Walter Snow), 1808-1892 Justice Walter Snow Burges (1808-1892) was a native of Rochester, Massachusetts.  His uncle, Congressman Tristam Burges, a former chief justice, oriented Walter toward Rhode Island and Brown University, where Tristam was a professor of oratory. Walter Burges graduated from Brown with honors in 1831, and then taught school

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Norman B. “Bill” Belisle

Bill Belisle, of Manville, RI, had a distinguished career as Head Coach of the eminently successful Mt. St. Charles Academy hockey program resulting in 418 victories and 13 consecutive State Championships. His teams have been voted as national schoolboy champions. He has been the recipient of countless awards, citations, and recognition to include the U.S.

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Norman Stephen Taber

Norman Stephen Taber, 1891-1952, a native of Providence and a student at Brown, won a gold medal in the now discontinued 3,000 meter team relay race in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics. He was also the bronze medalist in the 1,500-meter run (the metric mile). Taber’s time of 3:56:9 was only one-tenth of a second behind

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Charles Henry Dow

Charles H. Dow and Edward D. Jones, were reporters, one for the Providence Journal and one for the Providence Morning Star and Evening Press.  The names of these former Rhode Island journalists are now synonymous with money and finance. Charles Henry Dow (1851-1902) was born in Sterling, Connecticut on November 5, 1851 and began his

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Ade Bethune

Ade Bethune, 1914-2002, of Newport, whose world-renowned expertise in liturgical architecture and iconography led her to a distinguished career as a much sought-after consultant for church planning. She held special concern for less fortunate parishes, as well as community efforts to include low-income housing, solar heating, and energy efficiency. A recipient of six Honorary Degrees

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Lois Testa (Lynch)

Lois Testa (Lynch), a member of the U.S. Women’s Track and Field Team, played as a shot putter in the 1956 Melbourne Games. She is one of the pioneers of women’s athletics in Rhode Island. At Pawtucket East High School, the versatile Testa starred in swimming, basketball, and badminton. In Track and Field, she competed

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Edward Davis Jones

Charles H. Dow and Edward D. Jones, were reporters, one for the Providence Journal and one for the Providence Morning Star and Evening Press. The names of these former Rhode Island journalists are now synonymous with money and finance.   Dow, Charles H. (Charles Henry), 1851-1902 Charles Henry Dow (1851-1902) was born in Sterling, Connecticut

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Edwin F. “Frosty” Drew

Frosty Drew attended Moses Brown School, and as a Brown University graduate, began his career as a writer. He soon became actively involved in major efforts to preserve and protect the natural environmental heritage of RI. He particularly worked to sustain Ninigret Park in Charlestown, where the Frosty Drew Nature Center is located, and was

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Frederick D. Tootell

Fred Tootell, 1902-1964, became an Olympic champion in the hammer-throw at the 1924 Paris Games with a toss of 174’10”. Tootell, the first American-born winner of the hammer event, became a legendary track and field coach at University of Rhode Island, where his Ram teams compiled a phenomenal winning percentage in dual meets. He remains

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Charles Fletcher

  Fletcher, Charles, 1839-1907 Charles Fletcher, like Samuel Slater before him, amassed years of experience in the English textile industry as an operative before immigrating to Rhode Island in the late 1860s.  Once here, he soon built a regional empire for the production of woolen cloth and helped consolidate his holdings into an even larger

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John J. Fawcett

John J. Fawcett of North Kingstown earned international acclaim during an outstanding thirty-seven year career with the Providence Journal Company. He was an accomplished sports and editorial cartoonist, and a champion for the rights of others. He gained four National Brotherhood Awards from the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and his prolific works have

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Ralph A. Warburton

Ralph A. Warburton was was an All-State hockey selection at LaSalle Academy in 1941, and went on to star at Dartmouth College where he captained the Big Green’s national championship team of 1947. Warburton was a member of the American Hockey Association team chosen to play in the 1948 Winter Olympics. George Pulliam was a

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Bishop Thomas F. Hendricken

  Hendricken, Thomas Francis, Bishop, 1827-1886 Bishop Thomas F. Hendricken was born in Ireland just outside the Town of Kilkenny, County Leinster, on May 5, 1827.  His father John, descended from a German officer named Hendricken who fought at the Battle of the Boyne in 1691 for the Catholic cause, was a farmer who scratched

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Brigadier Gen. Chester A. Files

The late Brigadier General Chester A. Files, formerly of Barrington, RI, had a distinguished military career that spanned thirty-five years. He began in the Rhode Island National Guard as an enlisted man, and covered four different periods of conflict starting in 1916 with the Mexican Border Skirmish as a “mule skinner”, and ending as a

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Frankie Carle

Frankie Carle, 1903-2001, a native of Providence who became world famous as a pianist and composer, began studying the piano at the age of 5, and wrote his first song at age 13. He was the author of “Sunrise Serenade”, “Falling Leaves”, and “Lover’s Lullaby”. Born Francis Nunzio Carlone on March 25, 1903 to a

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Paul A. Hines

Paul Hines (1855-1935) was born in Virginia and died in Maryland, but no player was more associated with the Providence Grays during that team’s major league heyday. Hines played in 1659 games in three leagues from 1872 through 1891, made 2,135 hits, batted over .300 eleven times, and posted a career average of .302. He

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LT. Gen. John Phillips

Lieutenant General John Phillips of East Providence and Washington, D.C., had a distinguished career in the United States Marine Corps, covering thirty-five years with tours of duty in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He was highly-decorated with numerous awards, citations, and key leadership positions, and received the Navy Marine Corps Distinguished Service Medal, the

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Dr. William H.P. Faunce

Dr. William H. P. Faunce, 1859-1930, was most notable for being president of Brown University from 1899 to 1929. He is considered one of the great educational administrators and orators of his time. A Brown graduate, he taught freshman mathematics before leaving Brown to attend Theological Seminary and later Divinity School. Faunce accepted the presidency

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Richard Morris Hunt

  Hunt, Richard Morris, 1827-1895 Richard Morris Hunt (1827-1895) was the noted American architect of such Newport Mansions as Marble House, The Breakers, Ochre Court, Belcourt Castle, and Griswold House, now the Newport Art Museum.  

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Karl R. Rittmann

Karl R. Rittmann of Warwick, RI, whose outstanding artistic talents produced hundreds of famous portraits, features for newspapers, book illustrations, and colorful landscapes on display throughout the state and across the nation. He taught art in the Warwick School System for twenty-one years and served ten more years as Vice Principal of Veterans’s Memorial High

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Fred Friendly

Friend Friendly, 1915-1998, was a radio pioneer and executive, and a prime mover in the early development of Providence radio station WEAN. He became a professor of Journalism at Columbia University and broadcast advisor to the Ford Foundation. The broadcast newsroom at Columbia University’s School of Journalism is named for Friendly, as is a professorship

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Benjamin B. and Robert L. Knight

  Knight, Benjamin B., 1813-1898 and Knight, Robert, 1825-1912 The Knight brothers were textile manufacturers and philanthropists, owning twenty-one manufacturing villages under the logo “Fruit of the Loom,” and employing nearly 7000 operatives. Benjamin was born in Cranston, R.I., 3 October 1813 to  Stephen and Welthan (Brayton) Knight, farmers. He spent his early years assisting

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George T. Wein

George T. Wein, of New York City, was the internationally acclaimed creator of the jazz festival concept. He started the first all-jazz festival in Newport in 1954, and his company, Festival Productions, produced more than 1000 annual events throughout the world. As a result of his contributions to jazz and world culture, he has been

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David Patten

David Patten, 1888-1975, former managing-editor of The Providence Journal-Bulletin, was a Massachusetts native who spent school vacations and several winters at his grandfather’s 260-acre farm in Little Compton, Rhode Island. His career in Providence newspapers as a reporter and editor lasted 35 years. He entertained thousands with his stories of old-time Rhode Island, especially those

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Daniel F. Longstreet

Daniel F. Longstreet (1850-1937) was a Gilded Age pioneer in labor-management-customer relations on the Providence street railway system. He later invented improvements for streetcars and helped to establish some of the national managerial organizations in the public transit industry. Longstreet participated in the Civil War by joining the Fourth Rhode Island Infantry at age 15

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Maj. Gen. Harold R. Barker

The late Major General Harold R. Barker whose distinguished thirty-three year military career that spanned service under the famed General John Pershing in the battle with Mexican Revolutionary leader Poncho Villa, and through both World Wars. A native Rhode Islander who settled in Pascoag during his retirement years, he was a highly decorated U.S. Army

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Joseph Samuels

Joseph Samuels and his brother Leon had a vision of building a merchandising venture that would appeal to customers from all walks of life. By the mid-twentieth century, they had realized their dream by becoming two of the most innovative entrepreneurs in the country. Joseph and his brother Leon Samuels were born to James and

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George Champlin Mason Sr.

Mason, George C. (George Champlin), 1820-1894 George Champlin Mason, Sr. was a noted Newport architect, real estate developer, editor of the Newport Mercury, prolific historian of Newport, and a founder of the Newport Historical Society. Among his significant architectural designs are Chepstow, the 1860-61 Italianate villa just off Bellevue Avenue, Newpor; Eisenhower House, at 1

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Gov. J. Joseph Garrahy

Governor J. Joseph Garrahy, 1930-2012, was a native of Narragansett, who served four terms as Governor of the state following a distinguished career in public service which began in 1962. One of Rhode Island’s most popular leaders, Governor Garrahy returned to the private sector in 1985, serving as a highly successful business executive and well

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Joseph Whalen

Joseph Whalen, a former president of Bostich, Inc., developed a small stapling-machine plant into one of the state’s major industries. His corporation became one of the world leaders in its field.

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Eben Tourgée

Eben Tourjée (1834-1891) is regarded as an American pioneer in the establishment of music schools and conservatories–an effort crowned by his founding of the world famous New England Conservatory of Music in Boston in 1867. Tourjée was born in Warwick in 1834 of French Huguenot lineage that could be traced to East Greenwich’s Frenchtown settlement

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Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy

Patrick Joseph Kennedy II was born in Brighton, Massachusetts on July 14, 1967, the son of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy and Joan Bennett Kennedy. After graduation from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts in 1986, he began a quarter-century of residence in Rhode Island bringing with him both the benefits and the burdens of the Kennedy

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Leonard Randolph “Lenny” Wilkens

Grew up the Bedford-Stuyvesant streets of Brooklyn, son of an African American father and an Irish mother. His father died when he was quite young, and the family was forced into welfare. He learned to play basketball on the playgrounds of Brooklyn and later earned a scholarship to Providence College. At Providence, Lenny matured, gained

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Senator William Bradford

  Senator William Bradford (1729-1808) was a fifth-generation descendant and namesake of the famous governor of Plymouth Colony. He began his career as a surgeon, but after his arrival in Bristol in the late 1750s, Bradford left medicine and turned to a new profession in the law, and was admitted to the bar in 1767. He

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Congressman Ronald K. Machtley

Congressman Ronald Machtley , president of Bryant University, is not a native Rhode Islander, but he has enriched his adopted state through his leadership for nearly four decades. Ron was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on July 13, 1948, but like Hall of Fame inductees, Admirals Stephen Luce, Alfred Thayer Mahan, and William S. Sims, the

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J. Harold Williams

J. Harold Williams, a native of Providence, served for forty-three years as a Boy Scout executive in Rhode Island. He was planner, lecturer, friend, and advisor to some 200,000 boys and men. He developed Camp Yawgoog in South County into one of the nation’s leading scout camps and a model for boys’ camping.

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Carl W. Haffenreffer

  Haffenreffer, Carl W. Carl W. Haffenreffer, son of Rudolph Haffenreffer, Jr., continued his father’s tradition of business and philanthropic activity. With brother Rudolph 3rd and the R.F. Haffenreffer Family Foundation, he donated most of the Mount Hope lands and the King Philip Museum to Brown University. He became president of Narragansett Brewery, succeeding brother Rudolf, and

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Edward V. Healey Jr.

Edward V. Healey, Jr., 1923-2011, of Cranston was a Senior Associate Justice of the Rhode Island Family Court and an internationally recognized authority on juvenile justice and delinquency prevention. He served on several advisory commissions for Presidents of the United States, and is a prominent jurist, professor, and consultant to various nations and states.

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Captain Robert Gray

Captain Robert Gray, 1755-1806 was a sea captain and explorer. This Tiverton native commanded the Columbia from 1789-1793, a vessel on which he became the first American to circumnavigate the globe in 1789. Shortly after this feat he set sail again from his home port of Boston to the Oregon Country, and this voyage he

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Rudolph Frederick Haffenreffer Jr.

 Haffenreffer, Rudolph Frederick, 1874-1954 Rudolf Frederick Haffenreffer, Jr. (1874-1954), a native of Boston and a first generation German-American, became a successful Fall River brewer and purchased several hundred acres in Bristol from 1903 to 1912 for use as a summer retreat. His acquisitions included Mount Hope and the Bradford House.  After completing his basic education

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Kenneth R Dooley

Kenneth R. Dooley was born in Providence in 1931. He graduated from LaSalle Academy and Providence College (Class of 1959). He spent a career in publishing and film production with the media giant Prentice Hall in New Jersey as an executive vice president of the Bureau of Business Practice (1960-1977). He oversaw 600 employees and

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John DeWolf

John DeWolf – (September 6, 1779- March 8, 1872) was a member of the famous and wealthy clan of Bristol merchants. Although Captain Robert Gray of Tiverton (see Rhode Island Founders) became the first American to circumnavigate the globe in 1790 aboard his ship Columbia, John DeWolf became the first American (and probably the first

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John Brown Herreshoff

  Herreshoff, John Brown, 1841-1915 John Brown Herreshoff  was the Bristol-born elder brother and indispensable associate of Hall of Famer Nat Herreshoff. The Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, which built seven America’s Cup defenders from 1893 through 1934, was founded in 1878 by “JB” and Nat Herreshoff. This firm operated under JB’s direction for thirty-seven years. JB lost one

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Clement W. Labine

Clem Labine, 1926-2007, was a three-time National League All-Star who was inducted into the Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Fame in 1986. He was regarded as baseball’s best relief pitcher in the 1950’s. A native of Woonsocket, Labine played in six World Series and on three World Championship Teams, before retiring in 1963. He was named

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Ruth Hussey (Longenecker)

Ruth Hussey of Providence became a Hollywood movie star and accomplished supporting actress after her graduation from Pembroke College. Miss Hussey began her theatrical career on the Broadway stage where she won acclaim for her performances in “State of the Union”, “Goodbye Mr. Fancy”, and “Desk Set”. She also appeared in more than 30 films

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Chief (Ousamequin) Massasoit

Chief Massasoit, also known as Ousamequin, (ca. 1581- 1661) was born in present-day Rhode Island. As chief sachem of the Wampanoag nation, he befriended the Pilgrims at Plymouth, taught them farming methods, and joined with them in a 1621 thanksgiving feast. He was a cordial host to the original Pilgrim settlers and sheltered Roger Williams during his

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Lt. Gen. William S. Lawton

Lieutenant General William S. Lawton, 1900-1993, was native of Newport who later lived in Bethsesda, MD. His distinguished military career spanned forty years with service in World War II and the Korean War. He was a highly decorated U.S. Army Officer, and held key staff positions throughout his career following graduation from West Point in

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Dr. Bruce Macmillan Bigelow

Bruce Bigelow, 1903-1954, was a Brown University Graduate and a historian, who served as Vice President of the University during the administration of President Henry M. Wriston (1937-1955). Described by noted Brown professor of English Robert Kenny as “a gem, a man of personality and charm…” In a sense he was Wriston’s trouble shooter. “Bruce

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Judge Nathaniel Byfield

 Nathaniel Byfield was born in Long Ditton, Surrey, Englanfd in 1653. He arrived in Boston in 1674. Following the King Phillips War, he invested in Rhode Island lands, and made his home in Bristol, living part-time at Pappoosquaws Point. Byfield devoted himself to civic affairs,  joining the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in 1679, and becoming a member

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Justice Jeremiah Edward O’Connell

Jeremiah O’Connell was born in Wakefield, Massachusetts on July 8, 1883 to Irish immigrant parents and financed his own education at Boston University, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1906, a law degree cum laude in 1908, and an LL.M in 1908. Thereafter he moved to Providence where he served on the common council from 1913

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Eileen Farrell

Eileen Farrell, 1920-2002, who became a star of the Metropolitan Opera, launched her professional singing career in 1941 for CBS and made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1960,earning world-wide acclaim. She spent her early years living in Willimantic and Norwich, Connecticut, but came to her mother’s hometown of Woonsocket in her teens. Farrell received the

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Andrew J. Bell Jr.

Andrew J. Bell, Jr. was born in Providence in September 1907, the son of Andrew J. and Beatrice J. Bell.  After graduating from Classical High School, Bell studied Business Administration at Bryant College and graduated from the New England Institute of Mortuary Science in Boston.   In 1932, during the depths of the Great Depression,

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Marcus F. Wheatland Dr

When Dr. Wheatland died in 1934 at the age of sixty-six, his obituary in the Newport Daily News newspaper lead off by noting “The life of the late Dr. Marcus F. Wheatland should be an inspiration to every boy, white or colored, who believes he has no chance to succeed.” In fact, Marcus Wheatland’s life

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Congressman John E. Fogarty

Congressman John E. Fogarty, 1913-1967, was one of Rhode Island’s longest serving congressmen. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representative’s in 1940 as a New Deal Democrat, and died in office in January of 1967. During his long career he earned the nickname “Mr. Public Health” for his support of federal funding for

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Harvey A. Bennett

Harvey A. Bennett–a man whose name is synonymous with hockey in Rhode Island–was born on July 23, 1925 in Regina, Saskatchewan and began playing hockey as soon as he was old enough to tie his skates.  After completing the eighth grade, Bennett left home to be a goaltender for the Oshawa Generals.  By age nineteen,

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David E. Lopes

David E. Lopes was a stand-out second baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers, played in four World Series, and was a four-time National League All-Star during his sixteen year Major League career. Born in East Providence, Lopes grew up in South Providence and payed in the Fox Point Little League and became one of LaSalle

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Governor William Sprague

Governor William Sprague, 1830-1915, was a member of the Sprague family of industrial and political prominence. William became the “Boy Governor” of Rhode Island at age 30 on a Unionist-Republican-Fusion ticket and shortly thereafter led the first Rhode Island Regiment into combat at the First Battle of Bull Run. He became a U.S. Senator in

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Sherwin J. Kapstein

Sherwin Kapstein has spent 65 years as a Rhode Island educator, and he is responsible for many significant developments that have shaped the teaching profession and the lives of students. Born in Providence in 1917, Sherwin was educated in the public school system and then earned degrees in history and education from Brown University. As

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John F. “Jack” McGee

The late John, “Jack” McGee, 1885-1918, was a celebrated aviator whose accomplishments and bravery as a pioneering pilot at the turn of the 20th century became legend in his chosen profession. A native of Central Falls he grew up in the Blackstone Valley area and became a famous as a barn-storming test pilot who foresaw

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Joseph Davol

Joseph Davol, 1837-1909, was a pioneer in the rubber industry who, prior to incorporating the Davol Rubber Company in 1881, devoted much of his time to experimentation and invention in the processing of rubber. He was among the first to see the potential for rubber products in the fields of medicine and dentistry. He remained

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Eugene Lee

“Nothing makes me happier than an impossible space and an impossible project,” says renowned theater set designer Eugene Lee. When Lee designs a set, he will often reconfigure the theatre, repositioning exits, technical booths, even walls, to accommodate the play.  His audiences frequently find themselves inside, on top of, or under sets that don’t stay

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Marie Rose Ferron

Marie Rose Ferron was born to devout Catholic parents on May 24, 1902, in the countryside near Quebec. Her mother had dedicated each of her 15 children to the mysteries of the Rosary. As the tenth child, Marie Rose honored the Crucifixion. These extraordinary circumstances surrounding Rose’s birth seemed to foreshadow her destiny. Rose’s spiritual

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Hugh Duffy

Hugh Duffy, 1866-1954, from Cranston, was one of major league baseball’s greatest hitters and is still the holder of the single-season batting average record of .438, set in 1894, when Duffy was an outfielder for Boston in the National League. In seventeen major league seasons from 1888 through 1906, Duffy compiled a lifetime average of

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Rev. Charles E. Millard, Jr.

The Reverend Charles E. Millard, M.D. excelled in many walks of life–as an athlete in his youth, as a noted family physician, husband, parent, author, professor of medicine, and civic leader in his prime, and as a deacon of the Roman Catholic Church after the death of his beloved wife Mildred Lowney Millard. Charles was

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James W. Norman

James W. Norman of South Kingstown, was a multi-award winning Sports Information Director at the University of Rhode Island and a radio voice of the Rams for twenty-eight years. He has served as President of Word Unlimited, the Providence Gridiron Club, and the URI Ram’s Club. He is a member of the Universities Athletic Hall

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Albert Henry “Hank” Soar

Albert Henry “Hank” Soar, 1914-2001, was one of Rhode Island’s most talented athletes. After starring at the old Pawtucket High School (now Tolman)and Providence College in football and baseball, Soar played in the National Football League as an all-purpose back for the New York Giants for nine seasons from 1937 through 1946. After his playing

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Dr. John O. Pastore

Pastore, John O. (John Orlando), 1942- Dr. John O. Pastore  joins his illustrious father as one of the rare father-son combinations to merit membership in the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. Dr. Pastore was born in Providence on April 20, 1942 and was educated at LaSalle Academy and the University of Notre Dame, receiving

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Dr. Norman J. Oliver

Dr. Norman J. Oliver, formerly of Woonsocket, RI, was a brilliant research scientist who, as a world-famous physicist was one of the foremost experts on Antarctica and the Auroras. Born in Fall River, he lived the greater part of his life in Rhode Island, and was an adviser to Presidents Roosevelt and Truman. He was

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Fredrick Douglass “Fritz” Pollard

Frederick Douglass “Fritz” Pollard, 1894-1986, came from Lane Tech in Chicago and was known as a great running-back for Brown University in 1915 and 1916. As a freshman he started on the Brown squad that played in the first Rose Bowl game, becoming the first African American to play in the Rose Bowl. In 1916,

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Walter K. Schroder

Although he was born in Pawtucket, Walter Schroder, the son of German immigrants, spent his early years in Germany where he was drafted in 1944 at age fifteen to serve with an antiaircraft battery. Captured by the British in 1945, he served as a P.O.W. interpreter. Following his release, he enlisted in the U.S. Army

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Marion F. Avarista

Ms. Marion Avarista was founder of the Traveler’s Aid Runaway Youth Project and developer of the Travelers Aid Medical Van providing free service for the homeless in Providence. A Cranston resident, she is one of those most responsible for the growth and development of the Traveler’s Aid Society in RI and is a very active

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Dr. Francis H. Horn

Dr. Francis Horn was a prominent educator and world traveler who served as the sixth president of the University of Rhode Island from 1958 to 1967. Horn, a mid-westerner, held a doctorate in education from Yale and served in several posts including president of the Pratt Institute in New York prior to his arrival at

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Merrill W. Sherman

Merrill W. Sherman, Principal of Sherman Consulting, LLC., and former president and CEO of the Bancorp Rhode Island, Inc., a publicly traded bank holding company, and its wholly owned subsidiary, Bank Rhode Island. She was Rhode Island’s only female CEO of a publicly held bank and made Bank Rhode Island a premier economic force in

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Nelly Ayvasian

Mr. Nelly Ayvasian is the retired Executive Director of the International Institute of Rhode Island. Born in the Soviet Union, and severely wounded during World War II, he was imprisoned in a German labor camp before coming to live in Warwick, RI. He joined the Institute staff in 1959 and over the years helped thousands

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Ernest A. Calverley

Ernest Calverley of Pawtucket was a three-time All-American basketball star at the University of Rhode Island who played under the legendary Coach Frank W. Keaney. The sure-shot Calverley led the Ram’s to glory at Madison Square Garden in 1946 when URI lost the championship game by a single point. Calverley, however, won the tournament’s MVP

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James Newall Arnold

Arnold, James N. (James Newell), 1844-1927 James N. Arnold (1844-1927) whose contributions to the study of Rhode Island history are as fresh and useful today as they were when first transcribed, dealt in data  of family life: official town documents and records; newspaper accounts; birth, marriage, and death records in church archives; and history on

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Arlan R. Coolidge

Mr. Arlan Coolidge, a Providence resident, was an internationally renowned violinist and a graduate of Brown University. He and served as Chairman of Brown’s Department of Music for thirty-one years, served as Executive Director of the Arts Rhode Island, and as Chairman of several Governor’s Commissions on fine arts. He was also involved with the

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Commodore Matthew Cabraith Perry

Commodore Matthew Cabraith Perry, 1794-1858, was a career naval officer and the younger brother of Oliver Hazard Perry. He commanded the American naval forces in the siege and capture of Vera Cruz during the Mexican War. He was also a strong proponent of naval education and training programs and a technological innovator who was sometimes

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Maximilian D. Berlitz

  Berlitz, M. D. (Maximilian Delhinus), 1852-1921 Maximilian D. Berlitz was born on April 14, 1852 in the village of Mühringen at the edge of the Black Forest in southwest Germany. His birthname was David Berlitzheimer, the son of a village cantor and Jewish religious teacher. He came to America, according to ship records, in

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Thomas E. Eccleston

Thomas Eccleston was a famed Rhode Island educational administrator, teacher, and coach, whose Burrillville teams won several state titles in baseball, football, and hockey. He continued on as a hockey coach, becoming what was believed to be the oldest high school coach in the United States. A former Principal and Superintendent in Burrillville, he was

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Dr. Charles V. Chapin

Dr. Charles V. (Charles Value) Chapin, 1856-1941, was an internationally renowned pioneer in the field of public health and epidemiology, and served as Providence’s superintendent of health from 1884 to 1932. During his tenure he published a medical treatise entitled Sources and Modes of Infection, which was regarded by contemporary scientists as one of the

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Joseph Davol

Joseph Davol, a native of Warren, traced his ancestry to William Davol who settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony around 1640. After early schooling in Warren, Joseph moved with his parents to Brooklyn, New York where he attended high school. At the age of sixteen he entered the employ of a wholesale dry goods business

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Joseph Gomes

Joseph Gomes was the only Rhode Islander to play baseball in the Negro Major Baseball League, and was named an all-star in each of the seven years he played. He compiled a 362-41 pitching record, with a 1.74 earned-run-average in the Majors. He was an extraordinary athlete as a Rhode Island schoolboy all-stater in baseball,

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Dr. James P. Adams

Dr. James P. Adams, 1895-1969, educator, college administrator, and civic leader, was born in Michigan, but was on the faculty of Brown University from 1921 to 1944, serving the last twelve years as vice president. He also taught economics and became chairman of that academic department at age thirty-three, setting a Brown record for the

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Governors Elisha & Elisha Jr. Dyer

Dyer, Elisha, 1811-1890  Governor Elisha Dyer (1811-1890) and Governor Elisher Dyer, Jr. (1839-1909) traced their illustrious ancestry to William and Mary Dyer of Boston who settled Portsmouth in 1638 as exiled disciples of Anne Hutchinson. They eventually embraced Quakerism, and Mary repeatedly returned to Boston to preach the new doctrine in defiance of the Puritan

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Raymond Hood

Raymond Hood was a pioneer architect in American modern architecture. Born in Pawtucket, he attended Brown University before enrolling at MIT, later becoming internationally recognized for his skyscraper designs. Among the buildings for which he was architect are the Rockefeller Center, McGraw-Hill, the Hotel Dupont, and most of the structures at the University of Brussels.

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William F. Sayles

William Francis Sayles, 1824-1894, was a prominent Pawtucket, Rhode Island industrialist who founded the W.F. & F.C. Sayles Company, reputedly the world’s largest bleachery for cotton textile cloth, located in Saylesville on the Moshassuck River. Sayles and his brother Frederick, the first mayor of Pawtucket, also owned the Lorraine Mill on Mineral Spring Avenue, a

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Rev. Edward Everett Hale

  Hale, Edward Everett, 1822-1909 Rev. Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909), noted author, social and economic reformer, and Unitarian minister was born in Boston. His father was a nephew of Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale, and his maternal uncle and namesake Edward Everett was a noted orator, U.S. secretary of state, U. S. senator and congressman, governor

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Domina C. Jalbert

Mr. Domina Jalbert was a world renowned researcher and inventor of parachutes, sails, and kites. He was born in Quebec but lived for many years in Woonsocket, RI. He was the designer of the Dolly Spinnaker for the yacht Stars & Stripes, which won the 1987 America’s Cup. He was a track star in his

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Milton R. Halladay

Milton R. Halladay, 1874-1961, a native of Vermont, was a noted political cartoonist for the Providence Journal for nearly fifty years, and his cartoons were published in countless other newspapers and magazines. He has been called “one of the deans of American political cartooning”. His cartoon commemorating the death of Thomas A. Edison was a

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James Hanley

  Hanley, James, 1841-1912 James Hanley was born in Roscommon, Ireland and came to America with his parents as a child in 1846 during the Great Famine migration.  He rose from poverty to prominence as Rhode Island’s leading brewer. Hanley’s first important step into the world of business came in January 1862, at the age

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Francis J. McCabe

Judge Francis McCabe was the First Chief Judge of Rhode Island Family Court. Born in Providence, he attended Hope High School and Providence College. He later became Providence City Solicitor, a probate judge, and Chief Judge of the former Juvenile Court. He was an acknowledged expert on the rehabilitation and understanding of the juvenile offender

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Governor Robert E. Quinn

Robert Emmett Quinn, 1884-1975, a prominent Democratic politician who served successively as state senator, lieutenant governor, governor, associate Justice of the Superior Court, and Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Military Appeals. Quinn was the principle architect of the Bloodless Revolution of 1935 and a major protagonist in the Race Track War of 1937.

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Bishop Matthew Harkins

 Harkins, Matthew, 1845-1921 Bishop Matthew Harkins was born in Boston, the son of Patrick and Mary Margaret (Kranich) Harkins, both immigrants from Ireland. After completing studies at Boston Latin, the future bishop attended Holy Cross College for a year, and then, in 1863, went abroad to study at the English College in Douai, France. Like

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George L. Sutcliffe

George Sutcliffe was a WWII flying ace whose heroic exploits as a fighter pilot have been chronicled in several books, as he flew eighty missions as a highly decorated war hero. He was Founder and owner of a very successful and nationally recognized insurance firm in Smithfeild, RI, was active in the Big Brothers Association,

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Dr. Raymond T. Jackson

Dr. Raymond T. Jackson, originally of Providence, is an accomplished concert pianist and graduate of the Julliard School of Music. Noted for bringing the music of African-American composers to the concert stage. He has compiled a three-volume anthology containing works by two dozen African-American composers dating back to the early 1800s. He has held positions

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Dr. John Franklin Jameson

Jameson, J. Franklin (John Franklin), 1859-1937 J. Franklin Jameson (1859-1937) was a history professor at Brown University from 1888 to 1901, a vice president of the Rhode Island Historical Society, first secretary of the American Historical Association and long-time editor of its journal, The American Historical Review, Director of Historical Research at the Carnegie Institution

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Sister Mary Bernard RSM

Sister Mary Bernard served the community as a dedicated religious educator and Mercy missionary for over sixty years. She continued at St. Mary’s Academy well into her eighties where she has been a teacher, Principle, and Head of the Guidance Department. She was also Principle and taught for many years at St. Xavier Academy and

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Eddie Dowling

Eddie Dowling, 1889-1976, was born in Woonsocket as Joseph Nelson Goucher. As the fourteenth of seventeen children, he used his Irish mother Bridgette’s maiden name of Dowling during a brilliant Broadway career as actor, composer, producer and Pulitizer Prize-winning playwright. Dowling’s work helped to bring the American stage to a new level of aesthetic maturity

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Mayor Edwin D. McGuinness

McGuinness, Edwin Daniel, 1856-1901 Mayor Edwin D. McGuinness (1856-1901), a native of Providence, was the son of Irish immigrants who settled in Rhode Island after fleeing the Potato Famine in the 1840s. His father, Bernard McGuinness, was a successful real estate agent who encouraged his son’s educational pursuits. Edwin attended local public schools and graduated from

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W. Spencer Crooks

Spencer Crooks was an accomplished watercolor artists from Pawtucket whose works have been exhibited throughout the world. He was a popular teacher and lecture-demonstration expert on watercolor painting across New England. He was a major contributor to internationally recognized workshop seminars conducted not only in the United States, but in several foreign countries, including his

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Frank W. Keaney

Frank W. Keaney, 1886-1967,the legendary coach at University of Rhode Island, came to Kingston from Everett (MA) High School to coach all sports, serve as athletic director, and teach chemistry. An indefatigable promoter of the scholar-athlete, he was responsible, more than any other, for an athletic program that would bring URI a measure of national

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Charles F. McKim

McKim, Charles Follen, 1847-1909 Charles F. McKim, a native of Pennsylvania, was the son of an abolitionist father and a Quaker mother. The radical politics of his parents had little impact on McKim, who became a cosmopolitan architect who traveled in the company of wealthy and prominent businessmen and politicians. After study at Harvard, McKim

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John J. Cummings, Jr.

The late John J. Cummings was one of the financial geniuses of his time. During a career spanning thity-five years with the Fleet Financial Group, until his untimely death in 1982, he served as Fleet’s Cheif-Executive for fourteen years. He was responsible for guiding its growth into an internationally recognized financial services company. He established

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Glenna Collett Vare

Glenna Vare, 1903-1989, a New Haven native, and Providence resident, is generally regarded as Rhode Island’s greatest female athlete. She was proficient in tennis, diving, swimming, and especially golf. By 1922, she had won her first U.S. Women’s Golf Championship, the first of six such titles. In 1924, at the height of her prowess,she played

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Sidney S. Rider

Sidney S. Rider (1833-1917) was born in Brainard’s Bridge, Nassau County, New York in 1833 and died in Providence in 1917. He attended schools in New York and Pomfret, Connecticut. Coming to Providence as a boy, he went into the book business, eventually taking over the store of Charles Burnett. After the Civil War, Rider

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Fritz Eichenberg

Fritz Eichenberg was an internationally recognized graphic artist, illustrator, and author whose achievements are documented in the Library of Congress. He held several honorary degrees, including one from URI, where he served as professor and Chair of the Art Department. He became a well-known author, with texts that became standard for the field. He was

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Roger Williams

Roger Williams (1603?–1683), Rhode Island’s most famous personage, was born in London, the son of James Williams, a merchant, and Alice Pemberton. Remarkably, the precise year of his birth is unknown, and Williams himself gave conflicting accounts of his age. As a very young man, he broke with the Anglican state church and joined the

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John Aldrich Saunders Jr.

John Aldrich Saunders, Jr. (1808-1882) was the central figure, chronologically and symbolically, of the noted South County family of boat builders, marine entrepreneurs, and seamen. He was born in Newport, the grandson of Stephen Saunders, a shipwright, and the son of Captain John Aldrich Saunders (1786-1832), who built one of the first three-mastered schooners and

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Henry & Henry Fredrick Lippitt

Henry Lippitt was a native Rhode Islander who died in 1891, after becoming one of the state’s industrial and financial leaders of his time, serving two terms as governor. Henry F. Lippitt, Henry’s son, died in 1933, after following in his father’s footsteps as an industrialist, a statesman, and a United States Senator. A renowned

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Major General Nathanael Greene

Nathanael Greene was born in the Potowomut section of the town of Warwick on July 27, 1742 (or August 7, according to the New Style Julian calendar adopted in England and the American colonies in 1752). His father, for whom he was named, was a farmer and an iron maker whose second wife, Mary Mott,

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Rev. Anna Garlin Spencer

Anna Garlin Spencer (1851-1931) was born in Attleboro, Massachusetts but spent her formative years in Providence. Her embrace of progressive causes and her quest for social justice can be traced to her abolitionist mother and an aunt who worked with the homeless.   Anna began to write for the Providence Journal at age 19 and worked

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James P. Riley

James P. Riley was born in New Britain, Connecticut in 1950. He began his long career in the labor movement as a butcher for Stop & Shop in the 1970s. In 1984, Jim left his meat cutting career for a position as an organizer with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW). This

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Samuel Slater

Samuel Slater, 1768-1835, an English-born textile operative and inventor, has been called the “Father of American Manufacturing”. He migrated to Rhode Island from Derbyshire in 1789, and, in concert with Rhode Island investors and craftsman, built and activated spinning frames at Pawtucket Falls that were modeled on those of English inventor Richard Arkwright. On December

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Lester Frank Ward

Lester Frank Ward, 1841-1913, had such a powerful intellect and such wide-ranging knowledge that some contemporaries referred to him as “the American Aristotle.” The legendary Brown University professor was born on the Illinois frontier, lived a nomadic life as a youth, and received only fragments of formal schooling, though he read voraciously. Ward fought in

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Maj. Gen. Andrew S. Low

Low, Andrew S. (Andrew Stevenson), 1917- Major General Low was a former U.S. Airforce Director of Aerospace Programs and highly decorated World War II pilot. General Low was born in Westerly, R.I., in 1917, and completed public school there. He attended Rhode Island College of Education for three years. He began his military career in

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Gilbert Stuart

Gilbert Stuart, 1755-1828, of North Kingstown is one of America’s most notable portrait painters. After study in Dublin and London, he returned to America in 1793, where he painted renowned portraits of many of our founding fathers including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe.

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Mary Emma Woolley

Mary Emma Woolley (1863-1947), was a noted educator, college president, feminist, and peace activist. She was born in South Norwalk, Connecticut and moved to Pawtucket, Rhode Island in 1871 at the age of eight. After attending Providence High School, Emma finished her secondary school training at Wheaton Seminary in Norton, Massachusetts and then taught there

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Sister Eileen Murphy RSM

The late Sister Murphy was founder of the Amos House in Providence for the care of the homeless and needy of Rhode Island. A tireless worker for the cause of homeless men and women and helping to provide daily services, including food for low-income Rhode Islanders. Sister Murphy dedicated a lifetime to the teaching and

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Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry

Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, 1785-1819, naval hero of the famous Battle of Lake Erie during the war of 1812. On September 10, 1813, his ten-ship squadron defeated a comparable British force, thereby giving America control of that strategic waterway, a feat that made Perry a national hero. His terse note to General William Henry Harrison

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Joseph R. DiStefano Esq.

Cities and states do not progress and prosper randomly.  To thrive, they need leaders whose creative vision is matched by the drive, energy, and diplomatic skills that can draw together diverse people and disparate factions into a common – and ultimately successful – undertaking.  Such a leader is Joseph R. DiStefano. Born in Providence on

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Ronald R.S. Picerne

Born in Cranston, Rhode Island in 1929, Ronald R.S. Picerne is the son of Romeo and Rose Picerne. Ron attended Cranston public schools and graduated from Cranston East High School in 1946. As a young boy, Ron was a member of community organizations such as the YMCA and Boy Scouts and played CYO basketball and

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Nehemiah Dodge

Nehemiah Dodge, 1769-1843 was a pioneering Rhode Island industrialist whose craft was that of “manufacturing jeweler”. He is generally regarded as the principle founder of Rhode Island’s costume jewelry industry. His most famous apprentice was Jabez Gorham (1792-1869), founder of the internationally renowned Gorham Manufacturing Company.

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Dr. Ernest S. Frerichs

Ernest S. Frerichs is a man of three careers and a graduate of three New England universities: Brown, Harvard, and Boston. Born in Staten Island and educated in the public schools of New York City, Dr. Frerichs served with the U.S. Army in Europe during WW II. His careers have included that of clergyman at

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Charles Swanson

Charles Swanson was considered Rhode Island’s ambassador of tennis. He is rated among the best senior doubles players in the world. He won sixteen national tennis titles, and is recognized as the father of the Rhode Island tennis scene, teaching tennis professionals despite never having taken a lesson himself. He is credited with developing hundreds

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Nathanael G. “Nat” Herreshoff

Nathanael Greene Herreshoff, 1848-1938, was a world-renowned Bristol boatbuilder who teamed with his blind brother John Brown Herreshoff to build a series of world famous racing yachts that dominated the America’s Cup competition from 1893 through 1934. “Captain Nat” and his Herreshoff Manufacturing Company also built luxury yachts, cruising sailboats, and America’s first torpedo boat

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Ira Magaziner

Ira Magaziner grew up in New York and first came to Rhode Island as a student at Brown University. He graduated in 1969 as valedictorian of his class. As an undergraduate student activist, Ira was instrumental in changing the curriculum at the Ivy League school. He subsequently attended Oxford University in England as a Rhodes

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Ralph Zanelli

Ralph Zanelli (1915-2006) was a professional boxer who held both the New England welterwight and middleweight titles when he retired in 1952. He had competed for sixteen years and held a record of 115 wins, with 30 losses. His career spanned 20 years, beginning at the age of 17, and within three years he held

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Charles G. “Hoss” Radbourn

Charles G. Radbourn, 1854-1897, born in Rochester, New York, “Old Hoss” played baseball for Providence, Boston, and Cincinnati in the National League from 1881 through 1891. He is regarded as the greatest pitcher of the 19th century with 308 wins and 191 losses in 12 years of competition. In 1884, he pitched the Providence Grays

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John J. Partington

  Partington, John, 1929-2006 John Partington was born in the Valley Falls section of Cumberland, the son of the late Williard F. And Mary C. (Hogan) Partington, and he remained a lifelong Cumberland resident. From 1955 to 1967 John served as a police officer in his native town. Later, he would become its chief of

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Brother Adelard Beaudet

Brother Adelard Beaudet, 1884-1990, was “The father of Schoolboy Hockey in Rhode Island”, and became the first coach of the sport at Mt. St. Charles Academy in Woonsocket in 1930. As a teacher and coach, his MSC teams won ten state championships and two national titles in thirty years. Adelard Arena in Woonsocket is named

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George M. Cohan

George Michael Cohan was born in Fox Point, Providence on July 3, 1878 to Irish-Catholic parents. Cohan joined his parents and sister in a vaudeville act an an early age. Cohan became one of the leading Tin Pan Alley songwriters, publishing upwards of 300 original songs. He also became the most successful theatrical producer of

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James Procaccianti

By almost any measure, James Procaccianti is an American success story. His pre-eminent position in the world of real estate reflects the strong set of values and work ethic instilled in him by his parents, combined with his own instincts for profitable real estate deals and his round-the-clock passion for excellence. Jim learned the basics

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Edwin C. Brown

Edwin Brown, 1910-2010, was one of the foremost proponents of organized labor in the State. He was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the RI AFL, and later was a key negotiator in the merger of the AFL with CIO. He served on the State Board of Education and later the Board of Regents for twenty-eight years, being

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Arthur N Votolato Judge

Judge Arthur Votolato was appointed U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Rhode Island in 1968. His exceptional work on that tribunal led to his appointment as Chief Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit at its inception in June 1996. He served as its chief until April 2003. The

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David R. Stenhouse

David R. Stenhouse’s well-rounded career includes playing high school, college, and professional sports; college coaching; business; fundraising; and community service. For his athletic attainments, he has been inducted into the University of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island College Halls of Fame. A native of Westerly, Dave was a star athlete at Westerly High School

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Eugene J. Buonaccorsi

Eugene Buonaccorsi was sports editor of the Providence Journal-Bulletin, spending forty-six years in sports journalism. He began his career as a Journal schoolboy reporter and copy editor, and was named assistant sports editor in 1946, after serving as a U.S. Army Airborne test glider Captain in WWII. He retired in 1984 after assembling one of

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Napoleon Lajoie

Napoleon Lajoie, second baseman who played for Philadelphia and Cleveland in the National League from 1896 through 1916 and was Cleveland’s player-manager for five years (1905-1909). Called “The Big Frenchman”, the Woonsocket-born Lajoie compiled a lifetime batting average of .339 and he led his league in batting three times. His .422 average in 1901 is

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Sen. John Francis “Jack” Reed

U.S. Senator Jack Reed was born in 1949 and raised in Cranston. His father, Joe, was a Cranston school janitor who worked his way up through the ranks to become the custodial supervisor of the city’s school system. Jack credits his parents, Joe and Mary Reed, for his values and for the work-ethic that helped

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Dr. Joseph Conte

Dr. Joseph Conte was a renowned music director who had a long and eventful career as a concertmaster, conductor, bandmaster, violinist, and teacher. He was concertmaster of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra for twenty-one years. Conte was the founder and conducted The Young People’s Symphony of Rhode Island for sixteen years. He also served as

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Miantonomi and Canonicus (Satchems)

Canonicus and Miantonomi were Sachems of the Narragansett tribe who obtained their dominance through persuasion rather than violence. They allowed Roger Williams to establish Providence on their tribal lands.

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Marjorie Joy Vogel

Born in Dayton, Ohio on October 31, 1930, the daughter of Theodore and Margaret (Burke) Suman, Marjorie received her B.Sc. in Business/Psychology at Kentucky’s Bowling Green University. Her early years gave little indication that she would become the most prolific artist ever of Rhode Island’s architectural, or built, landscape. Eventually Marjorie discovered her natural talent

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Edward Harris

Edward Harris, 1801-1872, was considered the City of Woonsocket’s most prominent citizen in the 19th century. His contributions are found in the economic, political, and social fiber of his native city, as Woonsocket’s first millionaire, and in helping to establish the area as the state’s leading textile center. A leading philanthropist, he donated numerous buildings

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Dr. John Clarke

Dr. John Clarke (1609–1676) was the son of Thomas and Rose (Kerrich) Clarke. He was born in Westhorpe, Suffolk, in 1609, the fifth of seven children (according to a listing in the family’s Geneva Bible) and the third of five sons, four of whom ultimately settled in Newport. He was probably married to his first

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John A. “Jack” White III

Jack White (1942-2005), a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter known for his investigative skills, began his long and distinguished career at the Newport Daily News in 1969. He then became a member of the Providence Journal’s reporting staff where he exposed President Nixon’s underpayment of income taxes. His articles prompted Nixon to utter his infamous line, “I

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Philip J. Holton

The late Philip J. Holton, 1899-1976, was Chief Engineer for the Providence Water Supply Board for thirty-five years. He built the city’s water system into one of the largest in New England and one of the most modern in the world. He was appointed superintendent of the Scituate Reservoir in 1933, and became its’ chief

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U.S. Senator Jesse H. Metcalf

Jesse Metcalf and his wife Louisa Sharpe Metcalf were the dynamic duo of Rhode Island philanthropy in the early 20th century. Jesse was the son and namesake of the founder of Providence’s Wanskuck Mills, one of America’s largest woolen manufacturers, and his mother, Helen, a Hall of Fame inductee, co-founded the Rhode Island School of

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Jabez Gorham

After an apprenticeship to Nehemiah Dodge, Jabez Gorham became the foremost Rhode Island producer of jewelry and silverware. While in his twenties, Gorham established a shop at North Main and Steeple Streets, the first of several buildings that formed his original factory complex. By the end of the century, the company he founded was a

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Rev. Msgr. Charles W. McConnell

The late Very Reverend Monseignor McConnell was Diocesan Director of the Rhode Island CYO for twenty-five years, where he supervised the activities and influenced the lives of more than 25,000 youth. As pastor of St. Teresa’s Parish in Providence, he served for many years as State Chaplain for the Rhode Island Chapter of the Boy

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William Coddington

William Coddington (1601–1678), principal founder of Portsmouth and Newport and governor of Rhode Island, was born in Boston, Lincolnshire, England. By his thirtieth year, he had achieved substance and position. In 1630, at about the same time as John Winthrop’s arrival, he came to America as an assistant (director) in the Massachusetts Bay Company as

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Henry Marchant

Henry Marchant1741-1796 from Newport and South Kingstown, was a well-educated intellectual and a protege of Ezra Stiles. Marchant, a prominent attorney, was an ardent Son of Liberty, a delegate to the Continental Congress, a leading Federalist and Rhode Island’s first federal district judge.

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Dr. Eleanor M. McMahon

Dr. Eleanor McMahon, 1929-2002, was the Rhode Island Commissioner of Higher Education and former Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Rhode Island College. A Brown University Alumni Trustee, she has been the recipient of five honorary doctoral degrees and is the author of twenty treatises on education. Beginning her distinguished career as a

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William J. Gilbane

Humble origins have been the hallmark of many American and Rhode Island success stories. Not many can match the saga of the Gilbane Brothers and the establishment of the multinational Gilbane Building Company. The Irish potato famine of the1840’s sent myriads of Hibernian refugees to North America. And so it was with Thomas and Bridget

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Dr. Ramon Guiteras

Guiteras, Ramon, 1858-1917 Certainly the most prominent person of Latin American heritage at the turn of the 20th century was Ramon Guiteras, a native of Bristol. He was the son of a prominent Cuban banker with financial ties to Bristol’s DeWolf family. Because the DeWolf’s maintained substantial investments in Cuba, family connections followed those of

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Elisha Hunt Rhodes

Elisha Hunt Rhodes, eldest son of ship captain Elisha Hunt Rhodes and Eliza Ann (Chace) Rhodes, was born in Pawtuxet Village on March 21, 1842. This lineal descendant of Roger Williams attended schools in Cranston and Providence including Potter & Hammond’s Commercial College. His father’s death at sea when Elisha was only sixteen left him

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Louisa Sharpe Metcalf

Jesse Metcalf and his wife Louisa Sharpe Metcalf were the dynamic duo of Rhode Island philanthropy in the early 20th century. Jesse was the son and namesake of the founder of Providence’s Wanskuck Mills, one of America’s largest woolen manufacturers, and his mother, Helen, a Hall of Fame inductee, co-founded the Rhode Island School of

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Dr. John William Keefe

Dr. John William Keefe (1863-1935) was a surgeon of great skill and compassion who founded the John W. Keefe Surgery at 262 Blackstone Boulevard in Providence. Although a successful physician in both private practice and as a consulting surgeon at several hospitals, it was his dream to build and operate a small institution where the

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John E. Moran

John E. Moran, 1913-1997, served as President and Co-founder of McLaughin & Moran Distributors, which was a recognized leader in its’ field for over fifty years. An outstanding all-state athlete out of LaSalle Academy, he starred for Manhattan College in football and baseball. For the next fifty years, with time out for U.S. Naval service,

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Gregory Dexter

Gregory Dexter, 1610-1700, was one of London’s finest printers who became the printer for Roger Williams. He served Rhode Island during several crises and was elected President of the colony. He established a lime quarry in Lincoln that is one of the oldest continuous businesses in America.

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Annie Smith Peck

Peck, Annie S. (Annie Smith), 1850-1935 Annie Smith Peck was born on October 19, 1850 in a two story house at 865 North Main Street in Providence. She lived with her parents and three brothers in a home that her grandfather had built. Her mother traced the family’s roots to Roger Williams the founder of

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H. Cushman Anthony

J. Cushman Anthony, 1904-2000, was known as “Mr. Boy Scout” in Rhode Island. He was also known as “Gus”, as he dedicated a lifetime to the youth of our community and gave of himself in aiding the elderly. He spent fifty-three years with the Narragansett Boy Scouts Council of America, starting in 1915 as a

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Mary (Barrett) Dyer

Mary Dyer was the wife of William Dyer of Somersetshire, England, with whom she came to Massachusetts in the mid-1630s. According to Massachusetts governor John Winthrop, Mrs. Dyer was “a very proper and fair woman,” and both she and her husband were well educated.  During the Antinomian controversy that rocked the Bay Colony in the

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Walter Scott

The steps leading to the invention of an American cultural original, the diner eatery, began in Providence through the initiative of Walter Scott. He was born on November 28, 1841 in Cumberland, the son of lawyer Joseph A. Scott and Juliet Howland Scott. By age eleven Scott was peddling candy, fruit, and newspapers on the streets of

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Irving J. Fain

Irving J. Fain, 1906-1970, was a philanthropist, successful businessman, and community leader whose perseverance and ideals almost single-handedly led to the establishment of a fair housing law in Rhode Island. He was raised in Lippitt Hill, now University Heights, an American landmark mixture of races and economic backgrounds he helped to create. He was a

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Archbishop Francis P. Keough

The Most Reverend Francis Patrick Keough, D.D., was the fourth Bishop of Providence. Keough was born in New Britain, Connecticut to Irish immigrant parents on December 30, 1890. After choosing the priestly vocation, he studied in St. Thomas Preparatory Seminary. Then, Bishop John J. Nilan sent him to the Seminary of St. Sulpice, at Issy,

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Bishop William Stang

William Stang (1854-1907) was born in Langenbucken, Germany, studied for the Catholic priesthood at Louvain in Belgium, and was ordained in June 1878. Little else is known of his early life. Irish-born bishop Thomas F. Hendricken (whose surname indicates his German ancestor) sought a German-speaking priest for the small but growing German community in the

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William H. Matthews

William H. Matthews was the former First Deputy City Clerk of Providence, and considered by many as the finest athlete the state has produced. “Dixie”, as he was known to all, was considered by leaders of the city’s African-American community as their “first but unofficial” City Councilman. Born in Providence, he retired after thirty-eight years

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Christopher Grant La Farge

It is not unusual in Rhode Island that talent and accomplishment run in many of the state’s long-established families. A case in point is the La Farge family. Christopher Grant La Farge was the son of a noted architect of the same name, grandson of John La Farge, a nationally prominent artist and stained glass

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Irwin Chase

Irwin Chase is the eldest son of Martin Chase, a Russian Jew who immigrated with his family from the Ukraine to Providence in 1912. The Chase family first settled in South Providence but later moved to the East Side. Born in 1926, Irwin attended Hope High School. At eighteen he joined the army and fought

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Richard J. Reynolds

Richard J. Reynolds was, for thirty-two years, the schoolboy sports editor for the Providence Journal-Bulletin and one of Rhode Island’s greatest ambassadors of goodwill. He was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brown University, where he was a Wayland Scholar and later a sports information director. He was single-handedly responsible for the highly successful People-to-People

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William Harris

William Harris (1610-1681) had a reputation among colonial Rhode Islanders for stirring up controversy. In his lifetime, he was the instigator of numerous lawsuits, and he was charged and indicted for tumults and high treason – and subsequently released. While Roger Williams and John Clarke may vie with each other for the title of “founder

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Arthur A. Coia Esq.

Arthur A. Coia was born on March 21,1943 in the Italian section of Charles Street, Providence, Rhode Island graduating from LaSalle Academy, Providence College, and Boston University Law School. He is a founding partner with over 40 years of experience in the New England-based law firm of Coia and Lepore, LTD. specializing in labor law, labor

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Mayor Walter H. Reynolds

Mayor Walter Reynolds, 1901-1987, known as “Barney”, served seven consecutive terms as Mayor of Providence, totaling fourteen years of service.He was the City’s Chief Executive during times of great accomplishment and growth. A public servant for more than thirty-five years, beginning in 1935, he received numerous national, regional, and local awards for excellence in various

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Sarah J. Eddy

Sarah J. Eddy was a philanthropist and humanitarian; she was also a nationally recognized artist (painter and sculptor), photographer, suffragette and author. Born in 1851, the second of four children, to James Eddy of Providence, a wealthy art connoisseur and philanthropist, and Elisa Jackson of Boston, a staunch woman’s rights advocate and suffragette. Sarah studied

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James Joseph O’Connell M.D.

Dr. James J. O’Connell, a native of Newport and a graduate of Harvard Medical School, has truly made a difference in the world of medicine. Since 1985, when he helped found the Boston Health Care For The Homeless Program, he has worked tirelessly to bring medical care and dignity to the less fortunate. Today he

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Henry J. Tasca

Henry J. Tasca, 1912-1979, was U.S. Ambassador to Greece and Morocco, and several other European countries as a career diplomat and key foreign service official. A native of Providence who spent most of his childhood in Philadelphia, he studied at both Temple and Pennsylvania Universities. A specialist in economic and financial affairs, he retired and

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James Henry Kiernan

On a crisp January morning in 1915, a thirty-year-old freshman representative from the Mount Pleasant neighborhood of Providence strode into the Rhode Island state capitol. This novice legislator was James Henry Kiernan. For nearly fifty-one years thereafter Jim Kiernan would serve with distinction in the Rhode Island House, and for thirty-five years, until the opening

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Randall C. “Randy” Hien

Randall C. (“Randy”) Hien, 1949-2006, became legendary in Rhode Island for his remarkable accomplishments in two fields. As one of the most successful baseball coaches in the state, he devoted himself tirelessly to Rhode Island youth sports for thirty years. During that time, he transformed his beloved Lincoln Little League All-Stars into a nationally-competitive powerhouse, winning an

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Dr Vincent J. Turco

Dr. Vincent Turco, 1916-1999, was one of the world’s foremost authorities on treatment of clubfoot. He served as Chief of Orthopedic Surgery at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, CT, and Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale University and the University of Connecticut Medical Schools. He was a visiting professor and guest lecturer to 13 countries, as

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Metacomet Massasoit

Massasoit Metacomet, 1639-1676, was also known as King Phillip. He was the Sachem of all Sachems from the Royal House of the Pokanokets of the Wampanoags. A native patriot who tried to preserve his own civilization and his people’s autonomy in the face of overwhelming odds. He died during the King Phillip War on the

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Major General Zenas Randall Bliss

Major General Zenas Randall Bliss was born in the Johnston village of Simmonsville on April 17, 1835. He passed a comfortable youth in a middle class family until he won a direct appointment to the United States Military Academy in 1850, at the age of fifteen. At West Point Bliss graduated near the bottom of

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John C.A. Watkins

John C.A. Watkins, 1912-2000, was Publisher and Chairman of the Board of the Providence Journal-Bulletin beginning in 1974. His journalistic career began in Dayton, Ohio, in 1934, and he came to these newspapers in 1945 as assistant to the publisher. Throughout his leadership and direction, Rhode island’s major news sources became considered among the finest

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Rev. Samuel Newman

Reverend Samuel Newman, 1600?-1663 was a learned clergyman and the first prominent settler of present-day East Providence. He was acclaimed for his studies of the King James Bible, and established the Newman Congregational Church in what is now the Rumford section of East Providence. He has not received as much acclaim as other Rhode Island

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Dr. Charles Carroll

    Carroll, Charles, 1876-1936 Dr. Charles Carroll, Rhode Island’s foremost historian of his era, was born in Providence to newspaper printer William Carroll and Mary (Sheehan) Carroll. He was educated in the Providence public schools and at Brown University where he excelled in mathematics, edited the Brown Daily Herald, captained the debate team, and served as

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William D. & Olive F. Wiley

Mr. William (b. 1898) & Mrs. Olive F. Wiley (b.1903) were husband and wife for more than sixty years, many of which were devoted to their fellow man. William edited R.I.’s first African-American newspaper, the Providence Chronicle, for twenty years, while working full-time for the U.S. Postal Service. He was a co-founder and President of

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Richard Smith

Richard Smith, 1596-1666, was an entrepreneur and by far the most important early settler of South County, RI. >He constructed Smith’s Castle, or Cocumscussoc in Wickford.

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Reverend John Byron Diman

Diman, John Byron, 1863-1949 Reverend John Byron Diman was born in Brookline, Massachusetts to a prominent Rhode Island family of French-Huguenot origin, a branch of which settled in Bristol. The family’s surname has been spelled in several ways including “Diamont” and “Diamond”. John’s grandfather Byron was the Law and Order governor of Rhode Island in

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George Bancroft

George Bancroft, 1800-1891, was an American historian and Statesman who became a citizen of Newport with his home the famed “Rosecliff” mansion, named after the American Beauty Rose that he and a colleague developed. Over forty years, he wrote nine volumes of The History of the United States, and was credited with the existence of

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Giovanni DaVerrazzano

Giovanni da Verrazzano, 1485-1528, was an Italian explorer and navigator who sailed in service of France. In 1524 he crossed the Atlantic and explored Narragansett Bay. He gave our state its name.

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Chief Justice Thomas Durfee

Durfee, Thomas, 1826-1901 Thomas Durfee was the eldest son of Job Durfee, who was chief justice of Rhode Island from 1828 to 1849, was marked from the outset for a career in law. His mother was Judith Borden, member of a prominent Fall River Family. Thomas completed his preparatory education at the East Greenwich Academy

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Lionel Benjamin

Lionel Benjamin was second in command of the RI State Police as Major and Executive Officer. Enlisted in 1958, he moved to the detective division in 1965 and four years later, transferred to intelligence, where he was a member of N.E. State Police Crime Intelligence System as a senior officer. Promoted from Corporal to Captain

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Ambassador and Mayor Joe R. Paolino Jr.

The Honorable Joseph R. Paolino, Jr. assumes a unique place in the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. He is now the only inductee whose father, developer Joseph R. Paolino, Sr. and grandfather, Judge Luigi DePasquale, for whom the noted Federal Hill Plaza is named, are also members of the Hall of Fame. His mother,

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Amasa Eaton

  Eaton, Amasa M. (Amasa Mason), 1841-1914   Amasa Eaton  was a prominent Providence attorney who might be described as the quintessential Progressive reformer. His distinguished lineage included Providence’s Brown family and the Herreshoffs of Bristol.    He was an outspoken advocate of home rule for Providence and a member of the Metropolitan Park Commission, the

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General John Bruce Blount

General John Bruce Blount was a career U.S. Army Officer who, according to available records, was the only native-born, three-star general in Rhode Island history. Known by his middle name, Bruce, he was raised in Kingston, RI, and was a 1950 graduate of RI State College (now URI), where he excelled in both baseball and

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Thomas Willett

Captain Thomas Willett,1605-1674, was the principal early settler of Wannamoisett (present-day Riverside and northern Barrington). As a trusted friend of the natives he bought large tracts of land from them. He later became the first Mayor of New York City after helping to wrest it from the Dutch.

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Colonel Robert Hale Ives Goddard

Goddard, Robert H. I. (Robert Hale Ives), 1837-1916 Colonel Robert Goddard (1837-1916) was a son of Professor William G. Goddard, newspaperman and first Chancellor of Brown University, and Charlotte Rhoda Ives Goddard. Through his mother’s line of descent, Goddard was related to the Ives family, who partnered with the Brown family in shipping, manufacturing, real

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Frederick Grinnell

Frederick Grinnell was an industrialist and president of the firm that bears his name. As President of the Providence Steam and Gas Pipe Company that later became the Grinnell Corporation, he patented the automatic sprinkler and emerged as the acknowledged world leader in automatic fire protection. He was instrumental in organizing the National Fire Protection

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Arun K Singh M.D.

Dr. Arun K. Singh, a native of Patna, India, was born in 1944. As a child, the future physician suffered several debili- tating injuries including the breaking of both of his hands at different times, with one of these accidents resulting in the tempo- rary paralysis of his right hand ” not the most auspicious

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John Gorham

Gorham, John, 1820-1898 John Gorham was born in Providence on November 18, 1820. He was the eldest son of Jabez Gorham who had established himself as a leading manufacturer of silverware and jewelry in Providence in the 1830s. John began his apprenticeship in 1837 and in 1841, at the age of 21, he became a

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Pearce Johnson

The late Pearce Johnson was one of Rhode Island’s most proficient organizers who became a top executive in USO, producing and directing 125 USO shows as supervisor and President of Providence-Narragansett Bay USO, and a member of the USO National Council. He was awarded by the USO for thirty-five years of distinguished service. He also

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Helen Metcalf Danforth

The late Helen Metcalf Danforth, 1887-1984, formerly of Providence, served as President of the Corporation of the Rhode Island School of Design from 1931-1947. She also served as a member of the RISD education committee until 1965, when she was elected Chairman Emeratia. During her term of office she is credited with guiding RISD from

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Reverend Angelo D’Agostino S.J., M.D.

Father Angelo D’Agostino, 1926-2006 was born on January 26, 1926 in Providence, Rhode Island and died at work in Nairobi, Kenya on November 20, 2006. Raised in the Mount Pleasant section of Providence, Angelo was educated at Holy Ghost School, LaSalle Academy, and St. Michael’s College in Vermont. He received both an M.D. and Master’s

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Harry McKenna

Harry McKenna, 1916-1995, was News and Public Affairs Director of WEAN radio, and as “Dean” of R.I. news correspondents he had a distinguished thirty-nine year carer as a broadcast journalist. Over nearly four decades he became a news reporting legend in Rhode island, initiating the popular, award-winning, “Radio Press Conference,” which ran continuously for thirty-six

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William F. F. Farley

William F. Farley, of Pawtucket, now of Chicago, is businessman who was was chairman and CEO of Fruit of the Loom the highly successful international manufacturer and distributor of basic family apparel for fifteen years (1985-1999). Farley acquired Fruit of the Loom in 1986. Under Farley’s leadership, sales exceeded $2 billion. He has received the

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Alan G. Hassenfeld

Alan Hassenfeld is the former chairman of the board and present chairman of the executive committee of Hasbro, Inc., a multi-billion dollar international toy company. Under his leadership, Hasbro has become a worldwide leader in children’s and family entertainment. Its brands and products are some of the most recognizable and respected throughout the world. Alan

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John McLaughlin

John McLaughlin has been widely recognized for his civic service and contributions to many causes, including disadvantaged youth, and assisting underprivileged children. He was named R.I. “Big Brother of the Year” in 1982 and a recipient of the R.I. March of Dimes Award. A prominent businessman, he retired from McLaughlin & Moran, the highly successful

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Warren B Galkin

In 1917, Arthur Galkin I founded Natco Products Corporation as a recycler of waste materials. He had two sons, Bob and Warren. In 1949, his eldest son, Bob, graduated from Brown with a semester at Oxford and a BA in International Relations. At that time, Natco had two divisions; a division that manufactured mats, matting,

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Judge Joseph F. Rodgers Jr.

Joseph R. Rodgers, Jr., presiding Justice of the Rhode Island Superior Court since 1991, is the youngest judge in modern Rhode Island history to be appointed to both the District and Superior courts. In 1974, at age 33, he became associate justice of the District Court and was elevated to the Superior Court in 1976.

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Bernard Mondor

Bernard Mondor, 1925-2010, was a Canadian-born business man who became one of R.I.’s most outstanding sports promoters as owner of the Pawtucket Red Sox Baseball Team, which was recognized as the strongest franchise in the International League. He entered the business world after service in the Navy, acquiring seven corporations with sales over $13 million.

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Vartan Gregorian

The President Takes the Bus During his nine-year tenure as president of Brown University, from 1989 to 1997, on many occasions when Vartan Gregorian needed to get to Boston’s Logan airport, he took the bus. Gregorian was making a point. Brown’s faculty members and students traveled by bus, so he should, too. “I took the

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J. Malcolm Grear

  Malcolm Grear is a renaissance man in the most complete sense of the word: he understands the human values involved with the arts, and has educated himself to appreciate and deliver beauty in our daily lives. He also has taken upon himself to educate others about good design as well.    Although Malcolm’s main discipline

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J. Arthur Trudeau

The late J. Arthur Trudeau was a pioneer in the support of those with intellectual disabilities in Rhode Island and across the nation. With the assistance of former LaSallle Academy classmate Congressman John E. Fogarty, he brought about legislation requiring R.I. cities and towns to provide special education to disabled children until the age of

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Hubert C. “Ted” Hersey

The late Hubert C. “Ted” Hersey of Middletown was an internationally recognized science teacher at St. George’s school, chairman of the school’s science and computer departments and renowned teacher of physics. Hersey was also a highly successful coach of cross-country and track & field. His prominence in teaching earned him a 1992 Presidential Award for

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George M. Sage

George M. Sage, 1931-2006, was one of the most beloved Rhode Islanders of his generation. A gifted businessman, Mr. Sage had an even more substantial impact for his philanthropic endeavors, planning and executing a legacy of giving that will benefit Rhode Islanders for years to come. George was born in Rochester, New York in 1931, the

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Thomas Carney

Thomas Carney, 1927-2016, was the legendary hero of the highways known as “Blue Max”. He is credited with saving countless lives and helping hundreds of accident victims in his 28 years as a big rig, nationwide truckdriver. He has been called “the truckdriver’s greatest hero”. After retiring and living in Seekonk, MA, he was honored

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Armand M. LaMontagne

Armand M. LaMontagne is considered one of America’s preeminent sculptors of celebrated personalities. Best known for his life-size wood and bronze sculptures of well-known public figures he has sculpted significant likenesses of well known athletes such as Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Bobby Orr, Larry Bird, Carl Yastrzemski and Harry Agganis, as well as prominent individuals

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Rudolf Frederick Haffenreffer III

 Haffenreffer, R.F. Rudolf Frederick Haffenreffer, III (1902-1991), the eldest son of Rudolph Haffenreffer, Jr., succeeded to his father’s positions in several family ventures. Rudolph, III graduated from Dartmouth College (where he was an active alumnus) and Harvard School of Business Administration. He served as president of Narragansett Brewery and the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company which the Haffenreffer family

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Al Conte

Al Conte, 1930-2005, was a pianist and arranger, and one-time conductor of the late Guy Lombardo’s Royal Canadians for twenty-three years. This native of Providence was discovered by the famed Lombardo while performing at the Biltmore Hotel in 1954. He became one of the most accomplished and celebrated piano artists of our time. He became

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Edwin G. O’Connor

The late Edwin G. O’Connor, a Providence native and former Woonsocket resident, was a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist whose works included The Last Hurrah, The Edge of Sadness, for which he received the Pulizer; and “All in the Family.” A multi-talented individual, he was also a playwright, creating I Was Daning and Traveler for Brazil for

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James Burrill Angell

James Burrill Angell had a remarkably diverse career– Brown University graduate, professor of languages, newspaper editor, university president, and diplomat. He is best known as the longest-serving president of the University of Michigan where he aspired to provide an ‘uncommon education for the common man.’ Born on January 7, 1829, in Scituate, Rhode Island, Angell

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Mayor John J. Fitzgerald

John J. Fitzgerald (1871-1926) was born in Pawtucket where he attended local public schools. A brilliant student, he was one of the state’s first Irish-Catholics to graduate from Brown University (Class of 1893). Fitzgerald earned a law degree at Georgetown University, established a hometown law practice, and in 1899 ran successfully for state representative. In

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Dr. George W. Waterman

The late Dr. George W. Waterman, was a Providence native and renowned obstetrician and gynecologist whose medical career spanned half a century and included significant work in the fight against cancer. A graduate of Brown and Cornell Universities, he was a past president of the Rhode Island and New England Medical Societies; was acclaimed for

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George Byron Champlin

George Byron Champlin (1851-1946) was born in Providence on September 11, 1851, just after his old-line family had left their farm in southern Rhode Island to pursue new opportunities in the state’s expanding capital city. George’s father, Stanton B. Champlin, opened a produce business on Pine Street in the Downtown, but soon his interest turned

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Katharine Gibbs

Katharine Gibbs, 1863-1934, was the founder of the famed schools of business which bears her name. A resident of Edgewood area of Providence, she revolutionized stenography in 1911 with tenacity and vision that brought her to the forefront of American education. Today, thousands of Katherine Gibbs graduates, representing generations of Americans, owe their success to

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John Hazen White Sr.

John Hazen White, Sr. , 1914-2001,of Barrington, was a prominent businessman whose Cranston-based “TACO, Inc.” is among the country’s most successful manufacturing companies. He has defended Rhode Islanders by enlightening them to the cost of Government and the consequences of legislative decisions through his innovative “Red Alert” efforts, while bearing all costs associated with the

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LeBaron Bradford Colt

LeBaron Bradford Colt was born in Dedham, Massachusetts to Christopher and Theodora (DeWolf) Colt. He and his equally famous brother, Samuel, had very influential forebears. On their maternal side, they were the grandsons of General George DeWolf of Bristol and the grandnephews of U.S. Senator James DeWolf, a wealthy merchant and notorious slave trader. Other

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Dr. John Knauss

Dr. John Knauss, 1925-2015, was among the world’s foremost oceanographers. He served as Dean of the University of Rhode Island’s famed Graduate School of Oceanography and Vice President for Marine Affairs. A key participant in the creation of the United States highly successful Sea Grant Program, this Saunderstown, RI, resident served as Chairman of the

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James H. Woods

James H. Woods formerly of Warwick, now living in Los Angeles, is a multi-award winning stage and screen actor who has had an extraordinary career. An extremely versatile performer he has excelled across a wide spectrum of acting roles in major movie, television and theater productions. His honored performances in Ghosts of Mississippi and Salvador

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Samuel Pomeroy Colt

Samuel Pomeroy Colt, a brother of U.S. Senator LeBaron Colt, shared his sibling’s impressive lineage. Born in Paterson, New Jersey in 1852 as the youngest of six children, he received his early education in Hartford, graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1873, and from Columbia Law School in 1876. Samuel (or “Pom” as

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Dr. Harry Kroll

Dr. Harry Kroll worked as one of the world’s leading scientist and research chemists. He holds fifty-one world patents issued by the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Germany, and France. As senior scientist for Technic, Inc., in Cranston, he has done extensive cancer research, having worked as an American Cancer Society Fellow and earlier with

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Samuel Casey

Samuel Casey, 1724-?, of Kingston, craftsman, was colonial Rhode Island’s most accomplished silversmith. From his shop in Little Rest (Kingston), Casey crafted teapots, tankards, and porringers that are highly prized by collectors and featured in the top museums in America. Teapot, Samuel Casey, Little Rest, Rhode Island, c. 1755, silver – Hood Museum of Art,

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Monsignor Charles Dauray

Dauray, Charles, 1838-1931 Monsignor Charles Dauray, regarded by his contemporaries as the Dean of Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Providence, was born in Marieveille, Quebec on March 15, 1838. At the age of thirty-two he was ordained a priest and assigned to teach at a local college. Dogged by ill-health and overwork, Dauray was

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Bishop Russell J. McVinney

Bishop Russell J. McVinney, 1898-1971, the first native Ordinary of the Diocese of Providence, was born in Warren. Among his outstanding accomplishments during twenty-three years as Bishop were the establishment of the Catholic Charity Fund Appeal, strong support for fair housing legislation, an the establishment of a Diocesan Priests’ Senate. He was appointed an assistant

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William Claggett Sr.

William Claggett, sr., 1696-1749, of Newport, was a pioneering experimenter with electricity who influenced Benjamin Franklin, craftsman and colonial Rhode Island’s finest clockmaker. The versatile Claggett gained recognition not only for his timepieces, but also for his skills as an organ-builder, compass maker, engraver, printer and author.

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Maud Howe Elliott

Elliott, Maud Howe, 1854-1948 Maud Howe Elliott lived a very long life and certainly made the most of it. She was born at the Perkins Institute for the Blind in Boston on November 9, 1854. Her father, Samuel Gridley Howe, a noted physician and social reformer, directed the institution, but most people became familiar with

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Rowland Gibson Hazard

Rowland Gibson Hazard was born in South Kingstown, Rhode Island on October 9, 1801, the fourth of nine children of Rowland Hazard and Mary Peace of Charleston, South Carolina. In 1819, with his brother Isaac, he assumed control of his father’s small woolen mill in the village of Peace Dale, which had been named for

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Dr Pauline Maier

Professor Pauline Maier,like the great 19th century American historian George Bancroft and writers Julia Ward Howe, Edward Everett Hale, Owen Wister, and Clement Clarke Moore, was a long-time summer resident of Rhode Island. Little Compton was her retreat. She now joins these luminaries and fellow authors in the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. Pauline

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Mayor John J. Fitzgerald

  Fitzgerald, John J., 1871-1926 John J. Fitzgerald was born in Pawtucket where he attended local public schools.  A brilliant student, he was one of the state’s first Irish-Catholics to graduate from Brown University (Class of 1893).  Fitzgerald earned a law degree at Georgetown University, established a hometown law practice, and in 1899 ran successfully

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Dr. Blas Moreno

Dr. Blas Moreno, 1928-2011, became a resident of Rhode Island after emigrating from Cuba in 1954. He fashioned a distinguished career as a leading physician, community leader, and philanthropist, and has been at the forefront of developing medical care programs for the National Guard of the United States, serving as the State Air Surgeon for

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Gov. Samuel Cranston

Samuel Cranston, 1659-1727, of Newport, was a statesman and governor of Rhode Island for almost twenty-nine years–1698-1727–a tenure not only longer than any Rhode Island governor but also exceeding the tenure of any other chief executive of an American colony or state. Cranston presided over the transformation of Rhode Island from a beleaguered cluster of

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Governor Lucius F. C. Garvin M.D.

Garvin, Lucius F. C. (Lucius Fayette Clark), 1841-1922 Lucius Fayette Clark Garvin’s life was one of compassion, political struggle, tragedy and service to all. Born in Knoxville, Tennessee on November 21, 1841 to educated parents, his father, James, died when Lucius was only four and his mother, Sarah, a school teacher moved to Greensboro, North

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Ambrose “Amby” Smith

Ambrose Smith, 1917-2005, was a sports editor and Vice President of the Pawtucket Valley Daily Times, for which he served for forty-two years. He was a founder and officer of both Words Unlimited and the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. He was also a past President of the Providence Gridiron Club. A native of

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Silas Downer

Silas Downer, 1729-1785, was a prominent Providence attorney and civic leader, author, scrivener, and leader of the patriot cause. He has been called Rhode Island’s “Penman of the Revolution.” Downer’s most patriotic treatise was a 1768 Discourse delivered in Providence repudiating Parliament’s Declaratory Act. This essay has been cited as the first significant challenge to

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John Milton Hay

Hay, John, 1838-1905 John Milton Hay was an Illinois native with deep Rhode Island roots that prompted him to select Brown as his college. Providence was the early home of his mother, Helen Leonard, whose father, Rev. David Leonard was in the Brown Class of 1792. At Brown, Hay was described as having “a retentive

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Fred Benson

Fred Benson devoted eight decades to Block Island, R.I., serving as police commissioner, fireman, and president of the chamber of commerce. Islanders continue to revel in sharing their cherished memories of the legendary jack-of-all trades for whom the town’s beach pavilion is named. Born in Boston on April 14, 1895, Benson was the son of

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Alfred Carpionato

Alfred Carpionato started his life in humble circum- stances working for his fathers single family residential con- struction business when he was merely a teenager. As a very young man, he had traveled to Boston, Florida, and California where he gained invaluable expe- rience working with the top developers of that era. Taking everything he

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Mayor Patrick J. McCarthy

McCarthy, Patrick Joseph, 1848-1921 Mayor Patrick J. McCarthy  was the only immigrant ever to serve as mayor of Providence. Born in County Sligo, Ireland in 1848, his family fled the Potato Famine in 1850 only to be quarantined on Deer Island in Boston Harbor. Both his parents died there. “PJ”, as he liked to be

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Allen Chatterton

The late Allen Chatterton was a former president of the R.I. Golf Association. He founded the R.I. Senior Golf Association and John P. Burk Memorial Fund, the second caddy scholarship in the country. He also served as President of the New England Golf Association and as Director of Pawtucket Boys Club for more than thirty

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James & Ann Smith Franklin

James Franklin ,1696-1735, and Ann Smith Franklin, 1696-1763, of Newport, were journalists and Rhode Island’s first printers and newspaper publishers. In 1727 they set up Rhode Island’s first printing press. In 1732 he issued the Rhode Island Gazette, Rhode Island’s first newspaper. When James died in February, 1735, the printing shop was continued under the

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Chief Justice John Henry Stiness

John Henry Stiness (1840-1913) was born to a family with strong New England civic and military roots.  His great grandfather, Samuel, served in Colonel John Glover’s famous maritime regiment during the American Revolution, and his grandfather was sailing master aboard the schooner Growler on Lake Ontario during the War of 1812. In August, 1861, after

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Chris Clark

Chris Clark was a radio and television sportscaster who began his career in Newport. For twenty years he was the “Voice of the Friars”, and then the television “Voice of the Rams”. He was selected RI Sportscaster of the Year 12 times.

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Lionel Joseph Jenkins

Lionel Joseph Jenkins, a life- long leader in the civil rights movement, was born in Washington, D.C. on June 20, 1934, the son of Clarzell V. Jenkins and Mabel (Brown) Jenkins. During his childhood, segregation was the law of the land, even in the nations capital, so his determined parents sent him to gain an

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George H. Utter

George Herbert Utter, 1854-1912, established the Westerly Sun, which celebrated its 75th anniversary in August 1969. It publishes the only Sunday afternoon paper in the United States – a custom which stems from the fact that he was a deacon in the Pawcatuck Seventh Day Baptist Church. He served Rhode Island in the General Assembly,

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Jimmie Crane

Jimmie Crane, 1920-1988, was a noted songwriter and musician who was born Loreto Domenico Fraieli on Federal Hill in Providnce. He was urged to change his name as his musical group, The Hawaiians, became well-known on the radio. Many of his songs were performed by famous singers and bands.

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Sarah Updike Goddard

Sarah Updike Goddard, 1701-1770, of North Kingstown and Providence was a journalist, publisher, civic leader, and editor of the Providence Gazette. She was descended from the Smiths and Updikes of Cocumscussoc and married DiGiles Goddard in 1735. Her son William founded the Providence Gazette in 1762 but left the business in 1765. Sarah continued to

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Simon Willard Wardwell

Simon Wardwell, 1849-1921, was a 19th-century visionary industrialist, patenting numerous machines for improving the manufacture of textiles and clothing items. The manufacture of textile machines in the Blackstone Valley was a crowded field, not for the faint of heart; it was like making cars in Detroit or steel in Pittsburgh. However, for Simon Willard Wardwell,

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John Hackett

The late John Hackett was a former Dean of the University of Rhode Island Extension Division. Under his leadership, the division grew to be one of the largest university extension divisions in the nation, offering college credit courses and degrees. He was responsible for instituting the URI Continuing Education of Women(CEW)Program.

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Carlton C Brownell

Most inductees to the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame are chosen because of their impact upon their state, or even the nation. Some, however, have such a pervasive and beneficial impact on their community or region that their life and work demand induction. Carlton Brownell is such a person. His impact upon Little Compton

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Sara DeCosta (Hayes)

Sara DeCosta (Hayes): gold medalist in women’s hockey at the 1998 Nagano, Japan Games and silver medalist as goalie for the United States women’s hockey team in 2002 at Salt Lake City.  Sara was an all-state goalie on the boy’s varsity team at Toll Gate High School in 1996.  She played intermittently for Providence College,

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Merrill Hassenfeld

Merill Hassenfeld, 1918-1979, was Chief Executive Officer of Hasbro Industries. He was an active leader of the Jewish people and campaign chairman of the United Way of Southern New England.He was president of the Jewish Federation of Rhode Island, a founder of the Jewish Community Center and a director of the Miriam Hospital.

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Peter Harrison

Peter Harrison, 1716-1775, of Newport, was the foremost architect of colonial America, having designed the Redwood Library (1748), Brick Market (1761), Christ Church, Cambridge (1761), and Touro Synagogue (1762-1763). According to architectural historians, it was because of Harrison’s ability to adapt and interpret two-dimensional English drawings into three-dimensional colonial reality that Newport’s public colonial buildings

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Vin Di Bona

  Vin Di Bona is the chief executive officer of Vin Di Bona Productions and chairman of his new enterprise, FishBowl Worldwide Media.   A four-time Emmy award-winning producer and eight-time Emmy nominee, Di Bona is the recipient of the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for his work in documentary programming. However, it is as a

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Angus Hebb

The late Angus Hebb was the President of American Steele and Aluminum Corp. who achieved an international reputation for his efforts to preserve and propagate rare and endangered waterfowl. He created a 40-acre sanctuary for the R.I. Audubon Society, and was was elected to the Aviculture Hall of Fame.

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Rev. James MacSparran

James MacSparran,1693-1757 of South County was an Anglican clergyman, civic leader, diarist, and author of America Dissected (1753). The Irish-born MacSparran came to America in 1718 as a Presbyterian but soon converted to Anglicism and received the pastorate at St. Paul’s church in Wickford. For over thirty-six years he was a dominant religious and intellectual

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Sydney Richmond Burleigh

  Burleigh, Sydney Richmond, 1853-1931 Sydney Richmond Burleigh, a man with roots in Little Compton, Rhode Island, studied art with Jean-Paul Laurens in Paris for two years from 1878 to 1880.   Upon his return, he became one of the founders and one of the first exhibitors at the newly-formed Providence Art Club. He taught at the Rhode

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Edward Perry

Edward Perry, 1916-1994, was a three-time Public Links Golf Champion who served as Secretary of the Rhode Island Golf Association. He served for 33 years of Rhode island Championship events. He was chiefly responsible for the establishment of the Northeast Amateur Tournament.

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Galway Kinnell

Born in Providence, Rhode Island on February 1, 1927 to Irish immigrant parents, Galway Kinnell said that his readings as a youth of Edgar Allan Poe and Emily Dickinson inspired him to embrace poetry. Galway, a self-described introvert, was drawn to both by the musical appeal of their poetry and the idea that they led

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Hezekiah Anthony Dyer

Hezekiah Anthony Dyer was a prolific and accomplished artist who ventured into the equally demanding realms of military affairs, public service, and politics.   Dyer was born in Providence into a storied political family. His grandfather, Elisha Dyer, Sr., was governor of the state from 1857 to 1859 and served as an officer and the adjutant

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Eleanor Slater

Eleanor Slater, 1909-2006, served as both a State Representative and a State Senator. She lead the way to the passage of Rhode Island’s Fair Housing Bill. She was appointed director of the Division of Aging, now the State Department of Elderly Affairs. She served as vice-chairman of the Democratic Committee and was a National Committeewoman.

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Rev. Ezra Stiles

Reverend Ezra Stiles, 1727-1795, of Newport was a Congregational clergyman, scholar, diarist, author, civic leader and president of Yale University from 1778-1795. Stiles was one of the foremost intellectuals of colonial Rhode Island. During his tenure in Newport (1755-1776), he served as librarian of Redwood Library, pastor of the Second Congregational Church, and a spokesman

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Martin Johnson Heade

  Heade, Martin Johnson, 1819-1904   Martin Johnson Heade was an accomplished landscape, portrait, and still life painter, a poet, and a naturalist. Heade is one of the most important American Romantic painters of the 19th Century and one of the major figures in the development of Luminism. Born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania in 1819, he received

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Walter Stone

The late Walter Stone was superintendent of Rhode Island State Police. Serving as Chief in Providence, he was one of two men to serve as head of Rhode Island’s two largest police forces. He also played football for the Providence Steamrollers, and was a boxer on the police team.

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Dr Jay S Goodman

Dr. Jay Goodman was a brilliant scholar, an inspiring teacher, a meticulous attorney, and the intellectual power behind the throne for two generations of Rhode Island Democratic political leaders. Jay was born in St. Louis, Missouri on January 16, 1940, the son of attorneys Harold and Minnie Goodman. Jay earned his bachelors degree in 1961

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John Frederick Kensett

  Kensett, John Frederick, 1816-1872 John Frederick Kensett was one of the most influential members of the second generation of the Hudson River School of landscape painters. By age twelve, he was working in his family’s engraving and printing business in New Haven. When he was thirteen, Kensett went to New York to work for Peter Maverick,

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Albert Tavani

Albert Tavani was a Director of Division of Airports of the State Department of Transportation. He retired in 1977, after serving as a fighter pilot in World War II and as state aeronautics chief for thirty-one years. He was instrumental in the upgrading of Greene airport into a prime regional terminal and the establishment of

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Gov. Samuel Ward

Samuel Ward,1725-1776, of Westerly, co-founder of America’s first party system, governor, chief justice, and Revolutionary War leader. He was the son of Rhode Island governor and gentleman farmer Richard Ward (1740-1742). He joined his great political rival Stephen Hopkins as the two Rhode Island delegates to the Continental Congress in the movement toward independence. Only

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John La Farge

 La Farge, John, 1835-1910 John La Farge was born in New York City in March 1835 to parents of French ancestry. His interest in art began during his training at Mount St. Mary’s College and St. John’s College (now Fordham University). He had only the practice of law in mind as a career until he returned from his first visit

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Luther H. Blount

Luther Blount, 1916-2006, was a builder of fine coastal ships, oil exploration vessels, and hospital ships. He also lead the revitalization of the state’s oyster industry.

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John Townsend

John Townsend, 1733-1809, of Newport, a leading representative member of America’s most prominent family group of craftsmen -the Townsend Goddard group of Newport whose products make the period 1740-1850, today command the highest auction prices for American furniture. He was only one of at least 18 family members in an extended three-generation family of Townsends

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Edmund Darch Lewis

Lewis, Edmund Darch, 1835-1910 Edmund Darch Lewis was one of the most popular of the Philadelphia landscape painters and one of the best artists of Narragansett Bay, particularly in capturing the Victorian heyday of the Towers and grand casino of Narragansett Pier. A student of Paul Weber from 1850 to 1855, Lewis exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy

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George Bucklin

George N. Bucklin, 1843-1918, was a great benefactor to the Boy Scouts of RI, enabling the development of Camp Yawgoog and the famed Bucklin Memorials, one of the great camping showplaces of the country.

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Bishop George Berkeley

Bishop George Berkeley,1685-1753, was an Irish-born enlightenment philosopher, Anglican Bishop, philanthropist, and proprietor of Whitehall in Middletown from 1729-1731. After his return to Ireland in 1732, he was soon consecrated Bishop of Cloyne and continued his philosophical writings. His poem “On the Prospect of Planting Arts and Learning in America” is famous for the oracular

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William Trost Richards

William Trost Richards was born in Philadelphia, the son of Quaker parents. His formal academic education ended in 1847 following his father’s death when he worked as designer and illustrator of ornamental metalwork to help support his family. Richards married writer Anna Matlack in 1856 and settled in Germantown, Pennsylvania, where he lived until 1881.

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Ralph Papitto

Success is defined as the accomplishment of an aim or a purpose. No one exemplifies success more than Ralph Papitto. Mr. Papitto has earned and enjoyed many successes in his life. From his early years, immediately out of college, to the present, Ralph has been at the pinnacle of the Rhode Island’s business and nonprofit

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Robert Galkin

In 1917, Arthur Galkin I founded Natco Products Corporation as a recycler of waste materials. He had two sons, Bob and Warren. In 1949, his eldest son, Bob, graduated from Brown with a semester at Oxford and a BA in International Relations. At that time, Natco had two divisions; a division that manufactured mats, matting,

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John Paul Selinger

Jean Paul Selinger was born in 1850 in Boston. He studied art at the Lowell Institute, Boston and next trained abroad at the Art Academy in Stuttgart, and then under Wilhelm Lieble at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. Selinger was a colleague of William Merritt Chase and became a skilled portraitist, genre painter,

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Joseph E. Buonanno Sr.

Joseph E. Buonanno, Sr., 1910-1991, was a great Brown quarterback in the 1930’s. He became Trustee Emeritus of his University, and Founder of Metro Dyestuff Company. He was also Chairman of the First Bank and Trust Company.

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Wini (Blacher) Galkin

In 1917, Arthur Galkin I founded Natco Products Corporation as a recycler of waste materials. He had two sons, Bob and Warren. In 1949, his eldest son, Bob, graduated from Brown with a semester at Oxford and a BA in International Relations. At that time, Natco had two divisions; a division that manufactured mats, matting,

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Charles Walter Stetson

Charles Walter Stetson was born at Tiverton Four Corners on March 25, 1858, to an ailing mother and an impoverished father, a Baptist preacher who dabbled in herbs. He was raised from age eleven in Providence, in an unhappy household of economic worries; he died in Rome at age fifty-three having gained recognition as a

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Dr. William F. Flanagan

William Flanagan got his start in education first as a high school English teacher, then as vice principal of Lockwood Jr. High School, and finally as principal at Nelson W. Aldrich Jr. High School in Warwick. After serving as a naval officer in World War II, he returned to the field of education to establish

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Burton L. “Buster” Bonoff

Burton “Buster” Bonoff of Phoenix, Arizona and West Warwick was a legendary entertainment entrepreneur who founded the famed Warwick Musical Theatre (WMT), in Warwick, R.I. in 1955. He also served as its general manager and as a promoter of major entertainment talent in Rhode Island and elsewhere for over forty years. Nationally prominent in his

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Jane Stuart

Jane Stuart was Newport’s first woman portraitist, following in the illustrious footsteps of her famous father Gilbert Stuart. Jane was the youngest of his twelve children and his tenth daughter. She appears to be the great artist’s favorite offspring, and worked with him in his declining years until his death in 1828, often completing the portraits he had

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Major General Leonard Holland

Major General Leonard Holland served as the Adjutant General of Rhode Island from 1961 to 1983. Enlisting in the army on April 16, 1941, he fought in the North Solomon Islands and New Guinea campaigns during World War II. Commissioned a second lieutenant, Infantry on August 6, 1942, he was promoted to major on February

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Beatrice O. “Happy” Chace

The late Beatrice O. “Happy” Chace, formerly of Providence, a co-founder of the Providence Preservation Society who provided, on her own initiative, the impetus to restore an important part of Providence’s historic College Hill neighborhood. Her generosity and commitment helped make the Benefit Street section in particular, and the preservation movement nationwide the successes they

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George William Whitaker

George William Whitaker (1840-1916), a Fall River native, was one of the four founders of the Providence Art Club in 1880, along with Edward M. Bannister, Charles Walter Stetson, and Sydney Burleigh. Having studied in Paris with Laszlo De Paal, his work was influenced by the Barbizon School of landscape painters, where natural scenes became

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Alfred Hahn Joslin

Alfred Hahn Joslin, 1914-1977, was Associate Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, and past Chairman of the Executive Committee of the American Bar Association for Rhode Island. He became Trustee, Vice Chancellor, and fellow of the Brown Corporation. He wrote more than 600 opinions and served as the chair of Capital Center Commission (1980-1991).

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Brian W. Dickinson

Brian W. Dickinson of Warwick was a prominent editorial columnist for The Providence Journal and continued to write meaningful columns while battling the debilitating disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly associated with Lou Gherig. Dickinson’s courage and perseverance to maintain his outstanding writing in the face of nearly insurmountable obstacles, have been an inspiration to all

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Gov. Christopher Del Sesto

  Christopher Del Sesto was a loyal and dedicated public servant throughout his adult life.  Born in Providence on March 10, 1907 to Eraclio and Rosa (Geremia) Del Sesto, he graduated with honors from Providence’s Commercial High School and with cum laude honors from both Boston University and Georgetown University Law School. For many years he

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Sol Koffler

The late Sol Koffler, was the inventor and manufacturer of the internationally famous Tourister Luggage. Although active in Jewish affairs, his philanthropy transcended all race, religion, or color.

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William Dewitt Metz Dr

William DeWitt Metz was born in Buffalo, New York on June 13, 1914 to William J. and Minerva (Lamphear) Metz and was raised in the village of Perry, New York, about 50 miles east of Buffalo. Metz prepared for college at Dexter High School in Maine and graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine in

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Robert E. “Bobby” Doyle

  When the running boom of the late 1970s was at its peak, Bobby Doyle emerged as a world-class marathoner, and a source of great pride for the Ocean State. Bobby truly defined long distance running in Rhode Island, according to Don Allison, race director of the Amica Insurance Breakers Marathon in Newport. In 1976

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Charlie Hall

Charlie, as he prefers to be called, is a versatile comedian, writer, showman, artist, and political activist. In 2012, Charlie was the first person inducted into the newly-established Rhode Island Comedy Hall of Fame. His induction was the culmination of over thirty years of laugh-making through a variety of avenues including stand-up, writing, theater, and

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Halsey C. Herreshoff

Halsey C. Herreshoff of Bristol, is an internationally renowned yachtsman, acclaimed America’s Cup competitor, and successful Naval Architect. He is the founder and former president of Herreshoff Marine Museum, which includes the America’s Cup Hall of Fame. He is also a prominent designer, widely recognized civic leader, author, lecturer, businessman, and longtime promoter of maritime

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Barnaby M. Evans

Barnaby Evans is the creator, founder, and executive artistic director of WaterFire Providence. He is an artist who works in a multitude of mediums including site-specific sculpture installations, photograph, film, garden design, architectural projects, writing and conceptual works. His original training was in the sciences, but he has been working exclusively as an artist for more than

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Joseph P. McGee

Joseph P. McGee was a three-sport star at Providence College. He instituted basketball at the school, serving as first captain and coach. He also became Varsity Football Coach of the Friars, and a member of the Providence College Hall of Fame. In addition, He was President and General Manager of the Providence Steamroller Football Club.

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Rev. Joseph L. Lennon, O.P.

Reverend Joseph L. Lennon, O.P., of Providence was a a member of the Dominican Friars (Order of Preachers) of the Eastern Province of St. Joseph and of the Dominican community at Providence College. He was a professor, Dean and Vice President for Community Affairs at Providence College and considered by many the priest most commonly

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Edward J. “Rip” Higgins

Higgins, Edward J., 1894-1979 Edward “Rip” Higgins was born November 16, 1894 to Irish immigrant parents in Warren. During WW I, Rip served in the U.S. Navy as a pharmacist’s mate. Immediately after the war, he worked at Smith’s Drug Store, a Warren Democratic bastion, even into the 1980s, and there got his entree into politics.

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Senator Claiborne Pell

Senator Claiborne Pell, 1918-2009, became a Senior U.S. Senator from Rhode Island. He served in the Diplomatic Service for eight years after duty in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II. Senator Pell created a college grant program and wrote the legislation that established the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment

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Mayor Thomas P. McCoy

The late Thomas P. McCoy,1883-1945, formerly of Pawtucket was a lifelong Mayor of that city whose colorful political career dominated the area’s political scene for many years. Undisputed leader of the city’s Democratic Party, he compiled a distinguished ten-year record in the Rhode Island House of Representatives during the 1920s. Dubbed “the Prince of Pawtucket,”

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Dr. Maury Klein

  Professor Maury Klein, a resident of Saunderstown, has published sixteen major books in a legendary forty-four year career at the University of Rhode Island. His works, almost all national in scope, examined the industrialization of America and the Captains of Industry who spearheaded that technological revolution. Among his output are several publications that dissect the

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Anna M. Tucker

Anna M. Tucker was Director of the Rhode Island Department of Elderly Affairs. She was a recipient of the URI Distinguished Alumni Award, and a member of the URI Athletic Hall of Fame. She became Director of the National Association of State Units on Aging.

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Ben-Hur “Ben” Baddikian

Ben Bagdikian, a major American journalist, had long and significant ties to Rhode Island. As a young man he worked for the Pro^^’ide’nce Journal for 15 years from 1947 to 1962. As an “on-the-spot” reporter he rode on an Israeli tank during the Suez Crisis, covered the civil rights struggle including the Little Rock, Arkansas

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Bruce R. Lang

  Bruce R. Lang is an American entrepreneur and former television executive, television and radio host and analyst, co-founder of two Rhode Island good government groups, Operation Clean Government and UsPAC (1991–1993). He currently hosts State of the State (TV show) on a part-time basis.   Bruce Lang, a resident of Newport, has a B.A.

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Katherine U. Warren

Katherine U. Warren, 1897-1976, was the founder of the Preservation Society of Newport County and served as president for over 20 years. Her leadership resulted in the acquisition of “The Breakers” and six other mansions for the Preservation Society. She received the French Legion d’Honneur for the Washington-Lafayette celebration held in Newport.

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Richard J Walton

Richard J. Walton was a versatile man with a variety of activities and achievements. Among his many roles were journalist, radio talk show host, historian of American foreign policy, professor of political science, union leader, social activist, and one-time third party candidate for vice president. Richard was born on May 28, 1928 in Saratoga Springs,

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George H. Nee

  George Nee has been a leader of the Rhode Island labor movement for 35 years and currently serves as president of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO.   Nee’s dedication to organized labor and civil rights began in earnest when he was inspired to leave Boston College in 1969 to help organize the grape boycott for

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Richard A. “Dick” Ernst

Dick Ernst, a Cranston native, has served more backhands and slap shots, than the number of cars that ply route 95 on any given day. His rise to prominence (and dominance) began in his hometown high school tennis courts and hockey rink in the mid-1950’s where he became an all-state high school selection in both

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Aram J. Pothier

The late Aram J. Pothier, 1854-1928, formerly of Woonsocket, who died in 1928 while serving his seventh term as governor. Among his many accomplishments were establishing the Department of the State Police and the Public Utilities Commission and starting commercial development of Narragansett Bay. A prominent banker, he was also a Mayor of Woonsocket and

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Gov. Philip W. Noel

Phil Noel worked his way through Georgetown University Law School, first running an elevator, then in the U.S. Senate mailroom and eventually taking charge of the Senate’s committee notice system, all under the patronage of Senator John O. Pastore. When he graduated, the young lawyer asked the senator how he could repay him. “Get involved

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Dr. Robert D Billington

Growing up, he just wanted to become a drummer. However, a new journey to reclaim a post-industrial valley, reveal its history, clean up its river, and build an understanding of events that changed the course of America was about to unfold. Bob built an organization and organized communities to bring back the Blackstone Valley from

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Alfred V Morro

Without exaggeration one can safely state that Al Morro, teacher, coach, and athletic director at Classical High School, gained more fame and recognition than any other faculty member at that nationally-renowned educational institution ” and that fame is well-deserved. Born in New York in 1920, a son of Carmelo and Anna (Morgera) Morro, Al came

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Rev. Dr. Elisha Benjamin Andrews

Andrews, Elisha Benjamin, 1844-1917 Although E. Benjamin Andrews had only one eye – the result of a Civil War wound at the Battle of the Crater–some might say he was one of the most visionary presidents of Brown University. During his nine-year tenure as the eighth chief executive of Brown, he moved it from its status

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Frederick C. Williamson Sr.

Frederick C. Williamson, Sr.,1915-2010, was State Director of the RI Department of Community Affairs and Rhode Island’s Historic Preservation Officer. He was instrumental in many of the state’s historic buildings and sites accepted for the National Historic Register. At the time of his death, in 2010, Frederick Williamson was the longest serving state historic preservation

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Haig Varadian

Haig Varadain of Cranston was an educational, athletic and civic leader who served his city’s school system as teacher, coach and administrator for 50 years. His expertise in the sport of wrestling is legendary and Varadain was the Director Emeritus of the R.I. Interscholastic Wrestling League and recognized internationally in the sport. He is a

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Thomas Williams Bicknell

    Bicknell, Thomas Williams, 1834-1925 Thomas W. Bicknell (1834-1925) of Barrington was one of the two outstanding historians of Rhode Island during the first half of the 20th century (Dr. Charles Carroll was the other). In 1920 he published a three-volume narrative history of the state, supplemented by three biographical volumes. This work is still of great value

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W. Russell Boss

W. Russell Boss, 1909-1988, was former Treasurer, Sales Manager, President and Chairman of the Board at A.T. Cross Company from 1927 to 1979. He was the father of Bradford R. Boss, and Russell A. Boss, both later leaders of the company.

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William Barton

William Barton (1748–1831), of Warren and Providence, was a Revolutionary army colonel whose most notable exploit was leading a daring raid in July 1777 to seize General Richard Prescott, the commander of the British forces occupying Aquidneck Island. Born in the town of Warren, the son of Benjamin and Lydia Barton, William Barton received a

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General Francis Vinton Greene

  Greene, F. V. (Francis Vinton), 1850-1921 Francis Vinton Greene, son of General George Sears Greene and Martha Dana, was born in Providence on June 27, 1850. He entered the U.S. Military Academy in 1866, and graduated first in his class in 1870. He married Belle Eugenie Chevallie in 1879 and they had six children. He was descended

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Russell A. “Ron” Boss

Russell Boss became President of the A.T. Cross Company, and served as Director and Vice President of the Manufacturing Jewelers and Silversmiths of America. He is also a well-known yachtsman and sailing champion.

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Leonard J Pannaggio

Leonard J. Panaggio of Newport was one of Rhode Islands all-time leaders in the promotion of tourism to the Ocean State. Few, if any, before or since, have done as much to promote Rhode Island, and especially Newport, as a tourist destination. Len worked so diligently in the tourism field not only because of his

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Caroline Hazard

  Hazard, Caroline, 1856-1945 Caroline Hazard, educator, philanthropist, and author, was born in the South Kingstown village of Peace Dale on June 10,1856. She was educated by private tutors in Providence, by attending some courses at Brown University, and by private study in Europe. She worked side-by-side with her father, industrialist and social reformer Rowland G. Hazard, in

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Bradford P. Boss

Bradford P. Boss, whose career at A.T. Cross was primarily in sales and marketing, served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Costa Inc (Formerly Known As A.T. Cross Company) from 1960 until April 1993. He continued to serve as Chairman of the Board until November 14,1999, then becoming Chairman Emeritus. He

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Joseph Brown

Joseph Brown, 1733-1785, was one if the five famous Brown brothers of 18th century Providence. He was a successful entrepreneur, a respected scientist and astronomer, as well as an accomplished architect whose buildings include the First Baptist Church, the Providence Market House, University Hall and the John Brown House. Photo of Joseph Brown House by

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Governor James H. Higgins

 Higgins, James H. (James Henry), 1876-1927 James H. Higgins was the first Irish-Catholic governor of Rhode Island, serving from 1907 to 1909. Although orphaned at a young age, Higgins pursued a high school degree in Pawtucket and was accepted at Brown University in 1894 at a time when few Irish-Catholics matriculated at the Ivy League

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Diane L. Coutu

Diane Coutu, a native of West Warwick, was named a Rhode Scholar at Oxford after graduating with honors at Yale University. She was the winner of the Rotary International Fellowship, an Oxford University Graduate, and interned as Yale’s Griswold Scholar. At the age of 27, she was appointed to the Rand Corporation in California, where

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Moses Brown

Moses Brown, 1738-1836, the youngest of the five Brown brothers was a Providence civic leader, entrepreneur, sponsor of Samuel Slater, and prominent Quaker abolitionist. Moses Brown was also a founder of the Providence Athaneum and Moses Brown School.

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William Henry Luther

Luther, William H. (William Henry),1844-1914 William Henry Luther was born in Dover, New Hampshire on April 24, 1844. The Luther family moved to Providence four years later where young Henry attended public school with some additional instruction at a local private school. Luther and his brother became interested in the lapidary trade, and after learning

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Arthur S. Robbins

Arthur Robbins is widely known as a highly creative, intelligent, skillful, and successful hotel developer. He is also recognized by all for his generous, caring, and humanitarian spirit. Born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1932, Arthur grew up and went to school in Woonsocket and then at Wilbraham and Monson Academy. He received a BA in

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Bradford Gorham

Some individuals ” very few in number ” stand out from all others because of their outstanding talents and abilities. In this respect one thinks of athletes or entertainers. It is more rare, however, that a person stands above the crowd because of such qualities as integrity, earnestness, and demeanor. Brad Gorham was such a

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Dr. William Augustus Mowry

  Mowry, William A. (William Augustus), 1829-1917 Dr. William Augustus Mowry ranks among Rhode Island’s foremost educators. Besides writing a score of books (especially texts on history and civics), Mowry founded a highly-regarded private high school in Providence, pioneered in the establishment of teachers’ institutes, and served as superintendent of schools in Cranston and in Salem, Massachusetts.

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Cardinal John Dearden

Cardinal John Dearden, 1907-1988, became Archbishop of Detroit, Michigan, ministering a flock of 1,200,000 Catholics. Born John Dearden in Valley Falls, he began his education at The Holy Trinity School in Central Falls. Ordained a priest in Rome by Cardinal Francesco Marchetti Selvaggiani in 1932, he served as Bishop of Pittsburgh, and has authored national

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William Ellery

William Ellery (1727–1820), merchant, congressman, chief justice, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was the son of prominent Newport merchant William Ellery and Elizabeth Almy. His well-to-do father sent him to Harvard, from which young William graduated in 1747. He then embarked on a mercantile career, but when his father’s death in 1764 left

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U.S. Rep. George F. O’Shaunessy

O’Shaunessy, George Francis, 1868- George Francis O’Shaunessy was born in Galway, Ireland on May 1, 1868. His parents came to America when he was a child and settled in New Jersey. George was educated in New York City parochial schools and received a law degree from Columbia University in 1889. Thereafter he acquired a reputation as an able

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Edward M. Fay

Edward M. Fay was a well known local and national theatrical impresario, musician and band leader. He was a friend of George M. Cohan (born in Providence in 1878 and composer of the famous songs Over There, Give My Regards to Broadway and You’re a Grand Old Flag). Fay was also closely associated with Eddie Dowling (born Joseph Nelson

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George Patrick Duffy

Normally sportscasters ” with such notable excep- tions of Chris Schenkel and Chris Clark ” do not gain accep- tance to the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame, but if one is a sportscaster for seven decades, the voice of the Rhode Island Reds for a quarter-century, the longtime coach of youth sports in his

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Daniel Berkeley Updike

Considered by many, one of the three greatest American printers, Daniel Berkeley Updike was born in Providence on February 14, 1860. He was a descendant of Richard Smith, one of the earliest settlers of North Kingstown, and his family owned extensive tracts of land in the Wickford area, most notably Cocumscussoc. Updike attended private school and worked

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Patricia R. Recupero, JD, MD

Dr. Patricia Recupero, a resident of Providence, has dedicated her life advocating for the mentally ill. Following her graduation from the State University of New York with a degree in mathematics, she attended Boston College Law School, receiving her degree in 1973. After a few years practicing law and driven by her desire to help

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Christopher Greene

Christopher Greene, 1737-1781, of Warwick, was a Revolutionary War hero and Colonel of the famous “Black Regiment.” Greene, a veteran of many campaigns starting with the ill-fated march to Quebec in 1775, met death in a Tory ambush in May of 1781. Lincoln, James Sullivan, “Col. Christopher Greene,” John Hay Library, Brown University, 1863. Brown

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Edward Payson Weston

Edward Payson, 1839″1929, one of Rhode Island’s most colorful native sons, was born in Providence on March 15, 1839. His father, Silas Weston, was at one time a school teacher and at another a publisher and the editor of a semi-monthly paper entitled The Pupil’s Mentor. Edward’s mother, Maria Gaines, was a talented writer who

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Morris J.W. Gaebe

Mr. Morris J.W. Gaebe is a trustee emeritus, chancellor emeritus at Johnson & Wales University. Under his leadership, the fledgling college transformed into the world-renowned institution it is today. As President of Johnson & Wales College, Gaebe was named “Rhode Island Business Educator of the Year” in 1978. He was a member of the Permanent

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Sidney S Goldstein

Some individuals have been recognized for Hall of Fame induction because of the success and prominence of their business creations. Joseph Banigan, in whose building we conduct this ceremony, is one local example. He was a co-founder of U. S. Rubber Company (Uniroyal) and its early president. Today we honor another creator of a mam-

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Owen Wister

Owen Wister (1860-1938) the quintessential cowboy hero in the fictional literature of the American West. The image of the strong, silent, chivalrous demeanor of countless buckskin and Levi-clad templars of justice of the plains received their inspiration from a Philadelphian elitist who spent much of his writing career in Bayside, Saunderstown, Rhode Island. Musician, lawyer,

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James T. Patterson

James T. Patterson is one of the most distinguished historians of modern America. He was born in 1935 and attended the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut, graduating in 1952. Following a year at Christ’s Hospital School in England, he attended Williams College where he majored in history, graduating in 1957. He spent six months of active

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Jonathan Hazard

Jonathan Hazard, 1744-1825, of Charlestown, was the driving force behind the creation of the Country Party in 1785, a protest movement designed to safeguard the interests of Rhode Island farmers. Hazard, a noted orator, served in the General Assembly and the Confederation Congress and led the AntiFederaliist opposition to the Constitution while defending states rights.

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Susan L. Farmer

Susan L. Farmer joins her forebears, Bishop Alexander Griswold and Anne Hutchinson as an inductee into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. Like Hutchinson, a pioneer in many areas, including the advancement of women, Susan was a “first” as well. When elected Secretary of State in 1982, she became the first woman elected in Rhode Island

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Sec. of the Treasury G. William Miller

G. William Miller, 1925-2006, served as United States Secretary of the Treasury and former Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, and President of Textron. President Carter nominated him as Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve Board prior to his appointment as Secretary of the Treasury. Everett Raymond Kinstler, Sec. G. William Miller, 1981. Oil on canvas,

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John F McBurney Jr

John F. McBumey, Jr., a member of Americas “Greatest Generation,” compiled a remarkable career as a highly- decorated war hero, collegiate and professional baseball star, teacher, influential state senator from Pawtucket, and prominent trial attorney. John was born in Pawtucket in 1925 and raised in nearby Attleboro. After his graduation from Attleboro High School in

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Dr. Joseph E. Cannon

Joseph Cannon was born in Providence in 1911, the son of General Francis Cannon and Mary (Milligan) Cannon. He attended Technical High School and graduated from Brown University in 1932. He chose a career in medicine, and in 1936 he earned his degree cum laude from Tufts Medical School. Dr. Cannon then joined the Army Medical Corps, served his internship

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Florence Kerins Murray

Florence Kerins Murray, 1916-2004,was a high-ranking officer in the Women’s Army Corps, Rhode Island’s first female state senator (and was reelected four times), female judge and member of the Rhode Island Supreme Court.

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Rev. Samuel Hopkins

Reverend Samuel Hopkins, 1721-1803, of Newport, was a Congregational theologian and reformer. As pastor of Newport’s First Congregational Church Hopkins preached his doctrine of “disinterested benevolence” which led him to embrace the antislavery cause. His impact on 19th-century abolitionist thought was significant.

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George A. Wiley

Warwick’s George Wiley (1931-1973) compiled a record of service to his country which equals the sacrifices and service of his fellow hometowners, Nathanael and Christopher Greene. Like those men of the Revolutionary War generation, George, too, became a champion of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Whereas the Greenes took direct military action against

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Dr. Piyush Patel

Piyush Patel has strong Rhode Island roots, dating back more than thirty years when he purchased two hotels in the Town of Narragansett–The Village Inn and Atlantic House. Investing in Rhode Island real estate is nothing new for this entrepreneur. He spent millions converting Cranston’s Park Theater into a Class A event center, rivaling any

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Barlett S Dunbar

Bartlett S. Dunbar, who grew up on Cape Cod, is presi- dent and founder of Bowens Wharf Company, the first historic urban waterfront rehabilitation in New England. The Bowens Wharf revitalization that began in 1969, two years after Bart arrived on Aquidneck Island, provided the catalyst for rebuild- ing the Newport waterfront. Bowens Wharf is

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Yat K. Tow

The distinction and honor of being the first Chinese-American to be inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame is a recognition that Yat K. Tow (1912-1990) would accept with humility and pride. It is a tribute that has inclusive symbolic value–a shared honor that must also recognize the Tow family that preceded him and

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Michael A, Tamburro

Michael A. Tamburro, was born in Worcester, Massachusetts on February 13, 1952, the son of Michael and Josephine Tamburro. Mike pursued a double major (Business and Journalism) at U. Mass Amherst with the goal of becoming a baseball statistician. Instead, at 23 years of age, he became the youngest general manager in professional baseball when

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Rev. James Manning

  Manning, James, 1738-1791 Baptist clergyman and founding president of Rhode Island College (now Brown University), was born in Elizabeth Township, New Jersey. He attended Hopewell Academy, a Baptist grammar school, and the College of New Jersey (now Princeton). In 1764, after ordination as a Baptist minister, Manning and his wife Margaret Stiles, moved to Warren, Rhode

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Dr. Manuel da Silva

Dr. Manuel da Silva was born on September 5, 1926 in the village of Caviâo, Vale de Cambra in continental Portugal. After completing high school in Portugal, he emigrated to Brooklyn, New York with his mother and brother in January, 1946 to join his father, who was an American citizen. Young Manuel studied the English language intensively, and in 1948

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Chief Justice Joseph R. Weisberger

Chief Justice Joseph Weisberger, 1920-2012, spent 56 years in the Rhode Island Judiciary and at the time of his retirement, was Supreme Court Justice of Rhode Island. He previously served the state as a Presiding Justice of the Superior Court and as a Senator and Minority Leader. Chief Justice Weisberger was instrumental in establishing am

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Col. Stephen Olney

Colonel Stephen Olney, 1756-1832, of North Providence, was a leader of the Second Rhode Island Regiment attaining the rank of Colonel. He fought in numerous campaigns from Bunker Hill to Yorktown. Olney is credited with saving the life of future President James Monroe at the Battle of Princeton, and he was a close and respected

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Dr. Robert D. Ballard

Best known for his 1985 discovery of the Titanic, Dr. Robert Ballard has succeeded in tracking down numerous other significant shipwrecks, including the Lusitania, the German battleship Bismarck, the lost fleet of Guadalcanal, the U.S. aircraft carrier Yorktown (sunk in the World War II Battle of Midway), and John F. Kennedy’s boat, PT-109. While those

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Roger Wheeler

The late Roger Wheeler was State Recreational Supervisor and Director of Water Safety for more than 20 years. During World War II he designed a life jacket that became standard Air Force equipment and received an Army Commendation for invaluable developments of air-sea rescue procedures.

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Robert F Tasca

1926 – 2010 Car Dealer and Philanthropist Extraordinaire In the 1960s the quality of cars coming off American manufacturers’ assembly lines began to slip badly. Problems ranged from poor door fits, window leaks, wind noise and squeaks and rattles up to vibrations and drivability issues in the power train. The causes were shortcuts being taken

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Kathleen S. Connell

Kathleen Sullivan Connell was born in Newport, Rhode Island, the only daughter of Lawrence and Margaret Sullivan. She attended St. Mary’s School and St. Catherine Academy, graduated magna cum laude from Salve Regina University with a BS in Nursing, and then earned a master’s degree in International Relations from Salve.  Kathleen has been connected with health care for most

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Angelo Zuccolo

Angelo Zuccolo (1908 – 1956) was born on November 8, 1908 in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Italian immigrants Elvezio and Maria (Fargnoli) Zuccolo. Growing up in Providence he attended the city’s public schools and joined the Boy Scouts of America’s Troop 9 at the Federal Hill House. His association with scouting would last

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Silas Talbot

Silas Talbot, 1751-1813, of Providence, was versatile and courageous military hero who distinguished himself as both an army colonel and as a highly successful naval captain and privateersman during the American Revolution. Later in life he served as a Congressman from New York and as a Commander of the frigate Constitution during the Quasi-war with

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John Carter Brown

Born in 1797, the youngest of the three surviving children of Nicholas Brown II and Ann Carter, daughter of John Carter, the noted Providence printer, John Carter Brown was raised in a family tradition of public leadership and philanthropy. While at Brown University, he joined an undergraduate society to provide needy students with free books.

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Frank H. Alston Jr.

Frank Herman Alston, Jr. (1913-1978) was a noted artist, teacher and designer of many distinctive insignias, flags, badges and medals for all branches of the United States government and the Armed Forces. Alston was born on December 11, 1913 in Providence the son of Frank H., Sr. and Barbara (nee Hall) Alston.  Raised in Providence

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James Mitchell Varnum

James Mitchell Varnum, 1748-1789, of Warwick was a distinguished Revolutionary War General, a founder of the Kentish Guards, and a prominent attorney who was an early expounder of the doctrine of judicial review. He died at age 41 in Marietta, Ohio while serving as one of the first judges in the Northwest Territory.

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James C. Bucklin

Records say that architect James C. Bucklin was a native of Pawtucket, but in view of his family’s Rehoboth origins, the place of his birth on July 26, 1801, was probably on the east side of the Blackstone, an area not acquired by Rhode Island until 1862. His parents were James and Lorania (Pearce) Bucklin.

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Walter “Salty” Brine

“Salty” Brine was the most listened to Rhode Island morning radio announcer for almost four decades during the Cold War era.  An iconic personality, he also conducted a popular television series for children during the 1950s.  His sidekick was Jeff, his beloved collie.  One might say that he served as an uncle to many Rhode

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Abraham Whipple

Abraham Whipple,1733-1819, from Providence, was a renowned privateersman and naval officer. An ally of the Brown family, he directed the raid of the Gaspee and commanded the U.S. Navy’s first ship, Providence, in several successful encounters with the British.

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Edward Carrington

Edward Carrington was born in New Haven, Connecticut, on November 2, 1775, the son of physician Edward Carrington and the former Susan Whittlesey. His family moved to Providence after the Revolution, and here Edward embarked upon a career in maritime commerce. Carrington zealously embraced the commercial opportunity to engage in the exotic China and East

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Alexander DiMartino

Alexander Dimartino, 1907-2001, served as Chairman of the Rhode Island Water Resources Board and President of the Narragansett Preservation and Improvement Association. He was responsible for the construction of many bridges over Route 95 and for the Washington Bridge. He actively engaged in Brown University alumni activities for many years, and was a native of

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Alan Shawn Feinstein

Raising an Army to Fight Hunger Have you ever been really hungry? Not just “when’s dinner”? hungry but weak and in pain and desperate–not knowing when or how you could find food? On any given day, that’s the condition of millions of people in this count alone, and 20 years ago Alan Shawn Feinstein set

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Dr. Walter Channing

Dr. Walter Channing (April 15, 1786 – July 27, 1876) was born in Newport, the younger brother of the Reverend William Ellery Channing. Like his brother he studied at Harvard and made his career in Boston, but as a noted physician and professor of medicine. After graduating from the medical school of the University of

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David Gavitt

David Gavitt was born in Westerly, Rhode Island on October 26, 1937. He attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire where he played on the varsity basketball team. After graduation from Dartmouth he coached two years as an assistant basketball coach at Worcester Academy before joining the coaching staff at Providence College under Joe Mullaney in

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Harry M. Callahan

The late Harry M. Callahan, 1912-1999, formerly of Atlanta, Georgia and Providence, was generally regarded as one of America’s greatest photographers and photo essayists of the 20th-century, who was one of the most celebrated educators of his time, teaching for fifteen years at the Rhode Island School of Design, and whose influence on his profession

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Reverend William Ellery Channing

Reverend William Ellery Channing (April 7, 1780 – October 2, 1842) was born in Newport, a grandson of William Ellery, a Rhode Island signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was also raised in Newport prior to graduating from Harvard in 1798. Thereafter he often visited Rhode Island, but he made his career in Boston

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Frederick R. Glassman

Frederick Glassman was a Blackstone Valley business and civic leader who has been honored many times for his community service. He was cited after World War II for his contributions as Chief of Rubber Conservation for the War Department.

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Louis A. Cimini

Louis A. Cimini, a former resident of North Providence, legendary La Salle Academy coach and teacher, he also served as a football and baseball official as well as the Director of Recreation for North Providence. Cimini was an outstanding athlete in his own right and was inducted into six Halls of Fame and received a

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Judge David Howell

Howell, David, 1747-1824 David Howell had a distinguished legal and academic career that extended from the Confederation Era through the Early National Period. He was born in Morristown, New Jersey, on January 1, 1747, the son of Aaron and Sarah Howell. He received his early education at Hopewell Academy in Hopewell, New Jersey, a Baptist

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Frank Maznicki

Frank Maznicki, 1920-2013, was a former all-sports star at Westerly High School who gained football fame with the Boston College Eagles and the Chicago Bears. He became highly successful as a high school football and baseball coach.

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Felix De Weldon

Felix De Weldon, 1907-2003, formerly of Newport and Dana Point, California, was a famed sculptor and painter whose bronze statue of the Marine Corps raising the flag of the United States on Iwo Jima during World War II was dedicated as the Marine Corps War Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia. He created more than 2,000 different

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Charles Bird King

King, Charles Bird, 1785-1862 Charles Bird King (September 26, 1785 – March 18, 1862) was born in Newport, the only child of Deborah Bird and Revolutionary War veteran Captain Zebulon King, who moved the family to Ohio in 1789 and was killed there by Indians. When Charles King was fifteen, he went to New York

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Dr. Betty R. Vohr

Dr. Betty Vohr obtained her bachelor’s degree from Adelphi University in 1962 and her medical degree from Albany Medical College in 1966. She then came to Rhode Island in order to pursue her post-graduate training in pediatrics at Rhode Island Hospital. She completed her internship in 1967, her residency in 1968, and her fellowship in

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Dr. Doris M. Hollway Abels

The late Dr. Doris M. Holloway Abels, formerly of North Kingstown accomplished educator, performing artist and advocate of the arts founded her own school of dance and helped to establish the Trinity Reperatory Company. The versatile Dr. Abels was also a long-time choreographer at Theater By the Sea and was a mental health counselor and

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Captain Albert Martin

Martin, Albert, 1808-1836 Captain Albert Martin (January 6, 1808 – March 6, 1836) was born in Providence, the son of prominent merchant Joseph S. Martin and his wife Abby. He received a good education, including a short stay at the U.S. Military Academy (West Point). His father’s economic reverses prompted Albert, his brother, and their parents to start

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Warren Walden

William Walden, 1907-1987, a native of Providence, was a pioneer Rhode Island radio and television sportscaster. He was also a former athlete who served for twenty years as secretary of the Tim O’Neil amateur baseball league. He was the former News Director of WJAR-TV, and a native of Providence. Walden was actively involved with many

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Dr. Walter F. Jusczvk

The late Walter F. Jusczvk formerly of Warwick, was a successful dentist in West Warwick for many years, a Hall of Fame athlete, and Providence Journal Honor Roll Boy in 1937, was a record-setting pitcher at Brown. He went on to play baseball professionally and was a longtime member of the RI Heritage Hall of

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Sam Patch

Patch, Sam, 1807-1829 Sam Patch was born in North Reading, Massachusetts, one of six children produced by the stormy union of Samuel Greenleaf Patch and Abigail McIntire Patch. Following several family moves to northeastern Massachusetts towns, the Patches arrived in the mill village of Pawtucket at the falls of the Blackstone in 1807. Shortly after

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Antoinette F. Downing

Antoinette F. Downing, 1904-2001, was the preservationist who was Chairwoman of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission and the Providence Historic District Commission. Her tireless efforts on behalf of the buildings of Rhode Island have made her name synonymous with historic preservation in the state.

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Dr. Mark P. Malkovich III

A Serbian American, Dr. Mark Malkovich was born in Eveleth, Minnesota, a mining town north of Duluth in 1930. He played the clarinet as a child, but the piano became his primary instrument. Beginning his study of the piano at fifteen years of age, he eventually tutored under Adele Marcus at New York City’s Juilliard

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Johnathan Russell

U.S. Minister and Congressman Jonathan Russell (February 27, 1771 – February 17, 1832) was born in Providence and graduated in 1791 from Brown University.  After several years in the mercantile business, he was appointed by President James Madison as American diplomatic chargé d’affairs in Paris in 1811 and then the chargé in London, a position

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Thomas Eadie

Thomas Eadie, 1887-1974, of Newport, was a Navy diver who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroism in rescue attempts of two sunken submarines in the 1920’s, the S-4 off Provincetown, MA, and the S-51 off Block Island, RI.

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Lawrence N. Spitz

Lawrence Spitz of Sun City, Arizona, formerly of Providence and Woonsocket was a pioneer labor leader who was a strong advocate for the workingman. He became one of the State’s most effective iconoclasts, drafting its first labor relations act, and helping to gain major legislation for fair housing and worker representation at Blue Cross.

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Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse

Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse, March 4, 1754 – October 2, 1846, was born in Newport to Timothy Waterhouse, a chair maker, and his wife Hannah.  At age twenty-one he left Newport to study medicine in Europe. After his return to the United States in 1782, he joined the faculty of the new Harvard Medical School as one of

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William H. Edwards

William H. Edwards, 1898-1976, was head of Edwards and Angell, the prestigious Providence law firm. He was active in numerous civic groups, and focused his energy especially on the needs of minority groups and the elderly.

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Gov. Bruce G. Sundlun

Two-term governor of Rhode Island, Bruce Sundlun was a complex, forthright servant of the people. Federal prosecutor, B-17 bomber pilot, CEO of the Outlet Company, to name just a few of his many accomplishments, Governor Sundlun was the quintessential Renaissance man. Bruce Sundlun was born on January 19, 1920, the first child of Jan Zelda

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Mary C. Wheeler

Mary Colman Wheeler (1846-1920) the founder of Providence’s Wheeler School, was born on the family farm in Concord, Massachusetts, May 15, 1846. The Wheeler family, direct descendants of one of the first families of Massachusetts, was friends and neighbors of the Transcendentalists and literary leaders of their times; the Alcotts, Thoreaus, Hawthornes, Peabodys and Emersons.

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Harry Kizirian

Harry Kizirian, 1925 ” 2002, was the postmaster who oversaw construction of the first automated post office in the nation, which opened in Providence in 1960. Kizirian also won the Navy Cross, the Bronze Star with Combat V, two Purple Hearts, and the Rhode Island Cross as a Marine Corps Corporal in World War II.

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Dr. Gordon S. Wood

Gordon S. Wood of Providence is the Pulitzer Prize-winning Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University. As historian and scholar of international renown, he taught for 31 years and is widely acknowledged as one of the foremost historians of the American founding and has held numerous fellowships and has

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Karen L. Adams

Karen L. Adams was born on the Fourth of July in the rural midwestern town of Nevada, Missouri. Upon graduating in 1975 from Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri, she went to work in radio but quickly moved into television news. KOAM-TV in Pittsburg, Kansas was the first stop in her television career, where she was

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Spencer W. Viner Esq.

“My parents taught me the importance of being honest and fair in all my dealings, to look for the good in people, to try to ignore their shortcomings, and to be kind to everyone.” Spencer Viner took this advice to heart and hopefully imparted these maxims to his two daughters, Tonja and Lindsey. With his

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Nicholas Brown II

Nicholas Brown II, 1769-1841, Providence businessman and philanthropist, was the son and heir of of Nicholas Brown, one of the five famous Brown brothers of late eighteenth-century Providence. In 1796 he formed the highly successful mercantile-industrial partnership Brown & Ives, which made a fortune in the China trade. When the name of Rhode Island College

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Aram G. Garabedian

Aram G. Garabedian was born in Providence and raised by his Armenian parents. He graduated from Hope High School. After losing an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Maine, Aram decided to hitch-hike there anyway with just $35 in his possession. He convinced the University to admit him and graduated in 1957 without any debt. Aram then

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Holly Patrice Wood

Award-winning journalist Patrice Wood has been delivering the news to Southern New England on WJAR-TV, Channel 10, since February, 1980, making her the longest-serving female newscaster in Rhode Island television history. She currently anchors the main evening newscasts, Monday through Friday, at 5:00, 6:00, 10:00 and 11:00. Holly Patrice Wood grew up on a farm

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Tristam Burges

Tristam Burges, 1770-1853, was chief justice, leading member of the bar, U.S. Congressman (1825-1835), leader of the Whig Party and professor of oratory at Brown University. After a distinguished career in law, politics, and education, Burges retired to his estate “Watchemoket Farm,” then in Seekonk, Massachusetts, but since 1862 within the bounds of East Providence.

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Rabbi Leslie Yale Gutterman

Rabbi Leslie Y. Gutterman, the son of David and Winifred Gutterman, grew up in Flint, Michigan. He received a B A degree from the University of Michigan and a Doctor of Divinity degree from Hebrew Union College. In 1970, he completed his graduate studies and was ordained a rabbi. Les Gutterman never intended to work in New

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Frances G. Knight

Frances Knight, 1905-1999, was a Newport native who was Director of Passport Service. An independent who ran her own show through many presidential administrations, Frances transformed an inefficient federal agency into a model of efficiency.

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Royal Little

“Roy, this idea won’t work. But I’m going to back you. I’m going to let you make a mistake, and perhaps you’ll learn from that mistake and get back to just running a textile business.” It was 1952, and Royal Little’s idea was to buy Burkart Manufacturing, a producer of cushioning materials for the automotive,

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George S. Lima Sr

George S. Lima, Sr., the son of immigrants from Cape Verde, spent his adolescent years in Harlem, Fall River, and Providence with his Cape Verdean family. His life changed dramatically when he enrolled at North Carolina A&T State University in 1939 on a football scholarship. It was there he also learned to pilot planes. When

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Dr. William T. Osmanski

Dr. William T. Osmanski, 1915-1996, a Providence native, was a football star. A fullback, he was All-American at Holy Cross College and an All-Pro with the Chicago Bears, where he lead the National Football League in yardage in 1939. He played in five NFL Championship games, before becoming a dentist on Chicago.

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James Burrill Jr.

James Burrill, Jr., 1772-1820, was chief justice, attorney general (1797-1813), speaker of the house (1814-1816), U.S. Senator (1817-1820), leader of the Federalist Party, brilliant lawyer and orator. The town of Burillville (established 1806) was named for him.

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Royal Little

Quality traits such as curiosity, courage, and counter-intuition have characterized key moments of Royal Little’s life. A natural inquiring mind led him to insights others missed or thought not possible, most notably his invention of the business conglomerate, Textron, a company comprised of separate, unrelated, diversified manufacturing enterprises. Dealt a harsh blow in early life by his

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Princess Red Wing

Princess Red Wing, 1896-1987, was a Narragansett and Wampanoag Native American. She was the founder and curator of the Tomquag Native Memorial Museum at Arcadia Village in Exeter. She represented her tribe in a presentation to the United Nations.

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John Carter

John Carter, 1745-1814, was the editor of the Providence Gazette. He began his journalistic career as an apprentice to Benjamin Franklin. From 1767 until 1814 John Carter molded public opinion in Providence. His Gazette was a strong supporter of the Revolutionary cause and the ratification of the federal Constitution. Carter, among his many civic involvements,

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Eileen Gillespie Slocum

Eileen Gillespie Slocum was born in Manhattan on December 21 1915, and during her ninety-two years of life left an indelible mark on Newport society and the world of Republican politics. Educated at Miss Hewitt’s Classes now the Hewitt School in New York City, Eileen became precise in vocabulary and diction. She made her debut at

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Dr. Rudolph E. Tanzi

Dr. Rudolph E. Tanzi is the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. He has received widespread recognition and numerous awards for his efforts to prevent and cure Alzheimer’s disease. This litany of acclaim includes the two

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Ebenezer Knight Dexter

Ebenezer Knight Dexter, 1773-1824, prominent Providence merchant and a United States marshal who became Providence’s greatest philanthropist. In his will he bequeathed nearly 2.3 million square feet of land to Providence for aid to the poor and other civic purposes including the training of militia. His most notable gifts were the Dexter Asylum and the

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Howard G. Sutton II

Howard G. Sutton II of Portsmouth, publisher, president and chief executive officer of The Providence Journal Company, began his career at the Journal as a circulation statistician thirty-nine years ago, rising through the ranks before being named publisher, president and CEO in 1999. A Rhode Islander since the age of eight, Sutton’s record of public

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Ambassador William H. Sullivan

William Healy Sullivan was an American foreign service career officer who held ambassadorships to Laos, the Philippines, and Iran as well as serving in numerous important advisory posts dealing with major foreign policy issues throughout his lengthy career. Born in Cranston, Rhode Island to Joseph and Sabina (nee Foley) Sullivan on October 12, 1922, Sullivan

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Dr.Solomon Drowne

Dr. Solomon Drowne, 1753-1834, a noted physician, graduated from Brown in 1773 with Senator Theodore Foster (1752-1828). He returned to Rhode Island from his far-flung travels in 1801 to settle in Foster. His estate, called Mount Hygeia, after the Greek goddess of health, became the setting for many botanical experiments and the formulation of several

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Joseph W. Walsh Esq.

Joe Walsh is a leader, a public servant, and a humanitarian with a thoughtful manner and a big heart. His passion for people, desire to serve his community, and popularity in his days in government led The Providence Sunday Journal Magazine to ask: “Doesn’t Anyone Out There Hate this Man”? (Sept. 9, 1979). The newspaper

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James N. Williams

James N. Williams was the first and long-time Executive Director of the Urban League of Rhode Island and participated in the triumphs in the battle for racial equality in this nation. He also was active in many civic endeavors and served as a member of the state Advisory Council on Aging and other organizations which

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Theodore Foster

Theodore Foster, 1752-1828, a lawyer and long-time state legislator, served as town clerk (1775-1787) and supported the movement for independence. He was a prominent advocate of the federal Constitution. His efforts in support of ratification, together with his advantageous marriage to the sister of Governor Arthur Fenner, gained him election as one of Rhode Island’s

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Wilma H. Briggs

Wilma  Briggs was born in East Greenwich on November 6, 1930.  One of 11 children, she grew up on a farm in the Frenchtown section of town.  Her father,  Fred Briggs,  was a semi-professional baseball player  and coach.  As a young  girl, after performing daily farm chores,  Wilma typically  joined  her father and brothers  in highly- competitive

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Harold W. Browning

Harold W. Browning, 1893-1987, graduated from Rhode Island State College in 1914, and received his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. He was Director of Graduate Studies, Dean of Men, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Vice President, and Vice President Emeritus of the University at the University of Rhode Island. During his

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John Howland

John Howland, 1757-1854,a public-spirited businessman who began his career as an apprentice hairdresser, is often cited as the father of the Providence public school system. In 1799, the Newport-born civic leader organized an educational lobby which induced the General Assembly to pass a “free school act” on March 13, 1800. Pursuant to that act, Howland

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Billie Ann Burrill

World-class master’s athlete, coach, sports administrator, and indefatigable worker for the performing arts in Rhode Island, Billie Ann Burrill’s talents have known no bounds. While she was director of the Health and Physical Education Department at Rhode Island College, her drive and enthusiasm enabled the school’s Performing Arts Series to become the finest in the state.

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Martin Chase

Martin Chase organized the first discount merchandise store in the United States (Ann & Hope), which revolutionized American retail. The Mass Merchandising Foundation honored him for setting in motion the tide of low-margin retailing, which greatly extended the purchasing power of the American consumer. Mr. Chase was also active in community and philanthropic affairs.

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Henry Wheaton

Henry Wheaton, 1785-1848 , persevered, despite Rhode Island’s disapproval of the War of 1812, to be one of Rhode Island’s most persuasive legal defenders during that time. He stands alongside the foremost naval hero of the War of 1812, Oliver Hazard Perry, and Rhode Island’s most successful privateer, James D’Wolf. This jurist, diplomat, and expounder

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Monsignor Anthony Bove

Anthony Bove was born on May 17, 1877 at Albano di Lucania, Italy, the son of well-to-do parents. After receiving a thorough classical and theological education, he was ordained to the priesthood at the age of twenty-two by reason of his high scholastic standing. Immediately thereafter he came to Rhode Island to do parish work for the

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Thomas Gilbane

Thomas Gilbane, 1911-1981, was a third generation Gilbane of Gilbane construction and President of Gilbane Construction Company. Thomas and his brother Bill built the company from a local firm to one of the top ten in the nation. Thomas Gilbane was also a former star athlete at Brown University, prominent in Boy Scouts circles and

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David Wilkinson

David Wilkinson (1771-1852) a Pawtucket native, was a successful Industrial Revolution-era inventor and mill owner. When an historical movement is particularly successful, it is logical that there would be many claims of authorship. This is certainly true of the Industrial Revolution and the beginnings of the American factory system. At the center of the Industrial

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James V. Healey

  Jim Healey was a two-sport all-state athlete in high school and the sparkplug of a South Providence sandlot baseball team that won five age-graded championships from 1953 to 1957.    A fierce competitor in collegiate and professional sports, Jim was noted for his “hustle.” Fortunately for those whose cause he championed through life, that hustle

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William Gilbane

William Gilbane, 1909-1996, was Vice-President of Gilbane Construction, one of the largest firms in the country. He was known for being the Captain of Brown University’s great 1932 football team, and was named “Big Brother of the Year” in 1956. William was General Chairman of the United Fund, and active in Boy Scouts and other

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George S. Araujo

  The late George S. Araujo, formerly of Providence, a Cape Verdean from the Fox Point neighborhood of the City who is regarded as one of the greatest Rhode Island boxers of all time and was the world’s number-one ranked lightweight fighter when there was only one world ranking. George served as a longtime coach and

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Charles J. McDonald M.D.

Charles McDonald, MD, is the founding chairman of the Brown University Medical School Department of Dermatology and Physician-in-Chief of the Department of Dermatology at Rhode Island Hospital. An internationally recognized dermatologist, Dr. McDonald has distinguished himself as a clinician, researcher, and educator and as a leader in his community and beyond. Dr. McDonald was born

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Gertrude Hochberg

Gertrude Hochberg was Vice-President of Bryant College and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in Journalism. She was a past President of the Rhode Island Advertising Club, and a member of the Board of the National Council of Christians and Jews. She also served as Director of the Speakers Bureau for

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Robert L. Crandall

  ROBERT L. CRANDALL, of Dallas, Texas and formerly of Westerly, retired President Emeritus of American Airlines where he worked for eighteen years holding positions as president, chairman and CEO. During his tenure with American, he spearheaded many innovative changes in the airline business prompting experts to describe him as “the man who changed the way

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Colonel Martha E. McSally

Warwick-born and raised, Martha McSally is truly a renaissance woman. She is an Air Force Academy graduate who was the first American woman to fly in combat and was also the first woman to command a USAF fighter squadron. No slouch at school, Martha was a Rhodes Scholarship regional finalist and a White House Fellowship

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Matilda Sissieretta Jones

Matilda Sissieretta Joyner Jones (“Black Patti”) 1869-1933, was a famous concert singer of the 19th century. After becoming the the first African-American artist to perform at the Wallack’s Theatre in New York, she toured South America, Europe and Canada. Known as “the Black Patti,” after Italian diva Adelina Patti, Ms. Jones performed in Madison Square

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Ernest A. DiGregorio Jr.

  Enest A. DiGregorio, Jr., the legendary “Ernie D.,” was a Providence College consensus All-American basketball guard in the early 1970’s.   Ernie D. played on the 1968 Rhode Island (Class B) champions at North Providence High School. His success on the court made him a local celebrity and he was known to drive fancy

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Joseph R. Paolino Sr.

A lifelong resident of Rhode Island, Joseph R. Paolino’s entire career revolved around real estate, and in this important area of Rhode Island’s economy he had no peer. Entrepreneurial, tough-minded, persistent, and unafraid of challenge, Paolino literally changed the face of Downtown Providence real estate. Joe’s father, Anthony, helped spark young Paolino’s early interest in real

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Ted Knight

Ted Knight, 1923-1986, performed as Television comedian Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show, and had many great guest appearances. Having been born in Connecticut, he served several years as an announcer at WJAR.

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David A. Duffy

  David A. Duffy of North Kingstown, is the retired chairman of the highly successful firm of Duffy & Shanley, a Providence based advertising, marketing and public relations firm. David Duffy worked his way up from a typicla Pawtucket Irish kid working in a bar to success as a prominent businessman and civic leader.    Duffy

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Michael E. Renzi

Mike Renzi, a master American pianist, arranger, and musical director, was raised in Providence and started piano lessons at the age of eight; the style was classical. Soon he added popular music in the style known as “the American songbook,” consisting of the compositions of such artists as George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Johnny Mercer.

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Maxwell Mays

Maxwell Mays,1918-2009,was a lay preacher in his hometown of Greenville, Rhode Island, and one of the top painters of folk art in the United States. He exhibited in many of the major cities across the nation, and was past President of the Providence Art Club. His work, featuring traditional New England scenes, was published in

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Doris Duke

  Duke, Doris, 1912-1993 The late Doris Duke formerly of Newport, famed tobacco heiress who is one of Rhode Island’s greatest philanthropists. In 1968, she helped to launch the Newport Restoration Foundation to preserve that historic city’s 18th and early 19th century domestic architecture. Later, Ms. Duke made a major gift to the nature Conservancy to preserve

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John M. Sapinsley

John M. Sapinsley’s personal traits such as curiosity, courage, critical thinking, and kindness led him on an extraordinary life journey as a successful U.S. Navy veteran, businessman, professor, mentor, philanthropist, champion gofer, and most importantly, a loving husband to Senator Lila Sapinsely (a 2004 RI Heritage Hall of Fame Inductee), a father of four accomplished

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Justice William E. Powers

William E. Powers was born in Cumberland, Rhode Island on December 18, 1907. He attended St. Patrick Parochial School, Perkins Institute for the Blind, and Boston University Law School. His blindness, the result of an accident at his home in 1927, did not deter him from active service to his state as Cumberland probate judge,

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Mary Elizabeth Sharpe

The late Mary Elizabeth Sharpe formerly of Providence, was an entrepreneur, author, environmentalist, philanthropist, and self-taught landscape architect, whose achievements in the field of landscape design were legendary. She was instrumental in the beautification of Brown University, assisted in the creation of the Japanese Gardens at Roger Williams Park, and spearheaded the renovation of India

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Lucy Rawlings Tootell

For nearly a century of public life, Lucy R. Tootell was a force of energy promoting heritage education, celebrating the “South County mystique,” and preserving the architecture and memory of the past. Born in Jacksonville, Illinois on November 27, 1911, Lucy moved to South Kingstown, Rhode Island, with her family in 1913 before she was

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Earl C. Whelden

Earl C. Whelden ran the Shriner’s Circus at Narragansett Park for years, the proceeds from which went to the Shriner’s Hospitals for physically handicapped children of all races and creeds. He also established the Palestine Temple Shriner’s 22-bed Hodges-Lawton unit at Rhode Island Hospital for crippled children and ran an annual Christmas party for unfortunate

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Terrence Murray

The 1960s and 70s were grim years for the Rhode Island economy. Traditional and old-time industries and companies were leaving or closing. Organic economic growth was nil. Governor Phil Noel’s surprise success in bringing submarine construction work from a Connecticut shipyard to abandoned U.S. Navy property at Quonset Point was a rare and much celebrated

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Dr. John Bates Clark

    Clark, John Bates, 1847-1938 John Bates Clark was born in Providence on January 26, 1847, the son of merchant John H. Clark and Charlotte Huntington. In his early youth, his family moved to Minneapolis where his father engaged in the business of selling farm machinery. Clark came east in the early 1860s to attend Providence High

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Leonard Woodcock

Leonard Woodcock, 1911-2001, was national President of the United Auto Workers Union. He headed a group of Americans in seeking final disposition of the Missing-In-Action servicemen who served in Vietnam. He was recognized as one of the more conservative leaders.

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Zellio P. “Topper” Toppazzini

The late ZELLIO TOPPAZZINI, of North Providence, regarded as the greatest hockey player in Rhode Island history. Known to all as “Topper,” he is a member of the Rhode Island Reds Hall of Fame and was voted Reds Player of the Century. During his 18 year career, Topper not only played for the Reds, he also competed

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Andrew “Andy” J. Coakley

 Andrew James “Andy” Coakley was born in the predominantly Irish South Providence neighborhood of the City of Providence on November 20, 1882, the son of Irish immigrants. As a teenager he became a star sandlot pitcher for the St. Michael’s parish team then coached by “the King of the Sandlots,” the legendary Tim O’ Neil. After playing at

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Edward Mitchell Bannister

Edward M. Bannister was a nationally famous painter during the 19th century. He was a self-taught pioneer among African-American artists, and won a national award during the U.S. centennial celebration, in 1876.

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Michel S. Van Leesten

MICHAEL S. VAN LEESTEN, of Providence, Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, is the former director of the Department of Planning and Development for the City of Providence, former director of the Opportunities Industrialization Center of Rhode Island, former chairman of the Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation, and

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Rowland Hazard

  Hazard, Rowland, 1829-1898   Rowland Hazard  was the son of Hall of Fame member Rowland Gibson Hazard and the father of Hall of Fame inductee Caroline Newton Hazard. Born in Newport, he moved at the age of four to his family’s mill village of Peace Dale which remained his principal residence until his death–as well

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Kevin Coleman

Kevin K. Coleman was born in Woonsocket to Louis and Mary (McDonnell) Coleman. Mr. Coleman devoted his career to serving the needs of Rhode Islanders. He had a long political career and was best known for being elected as Mayor of the City of Woonsocket for six terms  between January 1953 and April 1963. Coleman’s political

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